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Matt Ranges sparks Syosset passing game in win over Freeport

Luca Cutolo made one of four touchdown receptions

Luca Cutolo made one of four touchdown receptions for the Syosset offense. Credit: James Escher

Syosset rediscovered its explosive offense and got itself untracked on Saturday.

After tasting defeat a week earlier against preseason top-seed Massapequa, Syosset got back to the business it does best: putting up points. It rolled up 284 passing yards and four different receivers caught touchdown passes as Syosset held off visiting Freeport for a 38-27 Nassau Conference I victory.

Matt Ranges was 17-for-26 passing for 284 yards and the four scores against one interception to lead the way. Each touchdown was impressive in its own way.

It started with Robert Trapeo pulling a 17-yard pass down with his left hand and cradling it as he landed in the end zone. The second went 14 yards to Luca Cutolo where he came back toward the scrambling Ranges to make the catch. The third was a diving 9-yard TD reception by Gaige Ciccotto. And the last one went 14-yards to Nick Pedula and was right on the mark so he could get his toes down in the end zone.

Cutolo ended up with six receptions for 114 yards, including the TD catch, a 3-yard rushing touchdown, a tackle that forced a turnover on downs and an interception that ended the game. Jimmy Modena had an interception and John He had a fumble recovery for Syosset (2-1).

"I have a lot of great players to throw to," Ranges said. "I know that if it isn’t there the first place I look, there will be someone else. . . . We have guys with great hands."

Syosset coach Paul Roarke explained that Ranges’ view of the field is more advanced than most high school quarterbacks and it’s a quality so important to the spread offense.

"He focuses on his progressions and that’s a hard thing for high school kids to do, especially a team that throws it as much as we do," Roarke said of the senior. "That might be his greatest attribute and he throws an accurate ball."

Freeport (2-1) was no easy takedown, though the young Red Devils did commit enough errors to make it hard for themselves. They fumbled a kickoff that led to Ciccotto’s touchdown catch and a 28-7 Syosset lead. And while quarterback DJ Gordon was 11-for-17 passing for 155 yards and three touchdowns, he threw a pair of interceptions including one that led to Pedula’s score and a 35-21 lead with 9:50 to play.

Martese Davenport had a rushing touchdowns and a receiving touchdown and Nazair Jean-Lubin and Jayden Gordon added TD receptions for Freeport.

Davenport’s touchdown catch with 5:35 drew the Devils within 35-27, but Syosset got three first downs and a 31-yard field goal by Robert Crehan to make it a two-score game.

"It’s strange, but he loss last week to Massapequa might actually have been a confidence booster," Cutolo said. "They’re the defending county champ and we walked out knowing that we can compete with that. If we handle our adversities and don’t get in a hole, we have an offense that won’t be easy to keep up with."

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