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James McHugh's four touchdowns help Seaford run to 6-0 record

James McHugh of Sesaford celebrates his fourth touchdown

James McHugh of Sesaford celebrates his fourth touchdown of the game during the Seaford vs. Clarke football game at Seaford High School Saturday, October 9, 2021. Credit: David L. Pokress

Clarke had just taken the opening drive down the field. Nick Giardino ran 6 yards for six points and passed for the two-point conversion on Seaford’s windswept turf. But suddenly the momentum started blowing in the other direction.

First, John Raucci dropped the ensuing kickoff. He picked the ball up at his 21. "I waited patiently, found a hole and just ran," he said.

He ran 79 yards for a touchdown.

Then James McHugh took over. The senior carried 17 times for 202 yards and four scores. And he added 15 tackles from his linebacker spot.

The Nassau IV-leading Vikings clobbered Clarke, 43-14, Saturday, moving to 6-0.

"Everything’s coming together," said McHugh, who ran past the 1,000-yard mark — now at 1,003. "We play like brothers. It’s a very special thing out there on the field."

They fell in the semis last spring to Wantagh, which has moved up to Conference III. Seaford hopes to finish the job this time.

"I think the chances are pretty good," McHugh said. "But there’s still a lot of work that has to be done. We still have to get better."

Coach Mike Corcoran agrees.

"Yeah, it was good day for us," he said. "We had a great offensive day. We really ran the ball well. But we struggled at things defensively."

Giardino ran 26 times for 147 yards and that first touchdown, which capped a 15-play, 60-yard drive.

"The momentum was on our side," Giardino said.

But the lead for the Rams (4-2) quickly shrunk to 8-7.

"The big kickoff return, the momentum shifted," Giardino said.

McHugh broke a tackle and went 63 yards for a TD early in the second quarter. Next possession, McHugh took a pitch and turned the right corner for an 18-yard score. So it was a 22-8 game.

A.J. Barone, who had 91 yards on three carries, raced for a 65-yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage following halftime. McHugh added scoring runs of 26 and 38 yards.

Offensive linemen Joe Ulzheimer, Eric Schiller, Hunter Cole, Paul Schultz and Jack Kellner as well as tight end Jack Murphy could take a bow for their superior blocking, too.

"I would give most of my credit to the O-line on this win," McHugh said.

So just how good are the Vikings?

"We’re good," Raucci said. "We’re good."

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