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Dylan Beckwith's 90-yard kickoff return TD sparks Wantagh win

Wantagh's Dylan Beckwith gets tackled by Carey's Angelo

Wantagh's Dylan Beckwith gets tackled by Carey's Angelo Cona during a Nassau II football game on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015. Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

Score quick.

It was the message Wantagh coach Keith Sachs preached at halftime Saturday, and it's all Dylan Beckwith was thinking as he positioned himself to return the third quarter's opening kickoff.

Beckwith's 90-yard score helped Wantagh turn a four-point halftime deficit into a 38-14 win over Carey in Nassau II.

Wantagh, opposing two-time defending Long Island champ Carey and its fiery crowd, was trailing at the break. But Beckwith still felt the Warriors were in control.

"Honestly," he said, "I thought we were physically dominating even though we were down."

The comeback began with Beckwith's kickoff return.

He read it perfectly: the kick bounced once and landed right in his hands, and the blocking alignment in front of him came together just as expected.

He followed the bigger bodies down the left side, and after a huge block by Joe Valenti gave him a clear path, he darted out to the right to finish off his touchdown return that gave Wantagh a 17-14 lead.

"It doesn't get much quicker than that," Sachs said.

Added Beckwith: "We go through kickoff drills every day in practice. I just followed the blockers, saw open daylight and ran."

The next possession for Carey (2-2) ended in the hands of Beckwith, who jumped a route for an interception. It helped set up a long touchdown pass from Rob Tucker to Corey Sachs.

With the run game working so well, Wantagh (3-1) used play-action to maximum effect. Carey's defense took the bait on a fake handoff by Tucker, and Sachs was wide open about 15 yards down the middle of the field. Tucker hit Sachs in stride -- "All of a sudden, I was moving," the tight end said -- and Sachs finished off the 72-yard play by sprinting into the end zone to make it 24-14 with five minutes left in the third quarter.

"I'm not the fastest guy on the field," the 6-2, 225-pound Sachs said with a laugh, "but I saw green grass and just ran. Rob did a great job of finding me."

Tucker completed 12 of 17 passes for 169 yards and a touchdown. Bruno Surace ran 19 times for 75 yards and a touchdown. Kyle Sliwak had 20 carries for 128 yards, including touchdown runs of 1 and 5 yards in the fourth quarter to seal the win.

The Wantagh defense was stellar in the second half, highlighted by an interception by Jimmy Joyce, it held Carey scoreless in the final 24 minutes. But the tone was set early: The Warriors forced two turnovers on downs on Carey's first possessions.

"Our defense played unreal today," Sliwak said. "Turnovers really helped create offense. Carey's always a great test, but our 'D' was up to it."

So was Beckwith.

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