Drew Guttieri had a great approach to the Suffolk PAL All-Star football game Tuesday night.
“This was one more time to suit up in high school,” Guttieri said, “and play with a bunch of guys I’ve never played with before.”
He left his new teammates and a crowd of about 400 at Sachem North with some great memories.
The Connetquot senior was 11 of 17 passing for 217 yards with two touchdowns and added another key score on the ground en route to his team’s Offensive MVP as the North defeated the South, 28-20. Huntington’s Aedan McDonald (11 tackles, one interception) was named the North’s Defensive MVP.
Guttieri, a 6-2 signalcaller, already committed to Stony Brook University this summer. So he knew where he is going to play football next season. But that didn’t keep him from putting on a show as the only Thunderbirds player on the North sideline. He had touchdown passes of 16 and 60 yards, the latter to Hills East’s Gianni Rossitto.
“It was a point in the game where we needed a big play,” Guttieri said. “We kept running this one play and they kept biting on it, so we knew we had a big play coming.”
The big plays continued when Guttieri capped a 9-play, 82-yard drive with a 5-yard run which brought the North within 20-19 with 4:32 left.
“You have to do whatever you can to get in there,” said Guttieri, who was intially stopped on the critical TD run, but kept moving forward with a second effort. “The game is one the line.”
Actually, it was about to be. The North coaching staff decided to go for a possible win and Hills East’s Nyrel Sevilla made the two-point conversion run that gave his squad a 21-20 lead. After a South interception, Ward Melville’s Michael Fiore added a 35-yard touchdown run with 3:01 remaining and Kings Park’s Dylan Squillacioti made the PAT to close the scoring on a wild and fun night.
The North took an early 6-0 lead when Whitman’s Timari Laster hauled in a 16-yard pass from Guttieri just 1:49 into the game. The South climbed within 6-3 when Bayport Blue-Point’s Jacob Lurie hit a 27-yard field goal with 8:33 left in the first half. Lurie also added a 43-yard field goal and was named the South’s Offensive MVP. Patchogue-Medford’s Eric Suda was the South’s Defensive MVP with 11 tackles and two-and-a-half sacks.