There was no panic on the sideline when South Side’s offense sputtered in the first quarter. With their dominant defense, the Cyclones knew they wouldn’t need much of a lead to stay undefeated.
South Side rode a 20-point second quarter and another stellar defensive performance to a 26-0 win at Roosevelt (2-2) in Nassau Conference III football Saturday afternoon.
It marks South Side’s fourth straight shutout to start the season in which the Cyclones are outscoring opponents 154-0.
“The defense has been lights out,” coach Phil Onesto said. “A lot of these guys have been playing varsity since their sophomore year and they’re playing aggressive. We’re letting them loose and they’re doing a great job.”
South Side’s defensive line wreaked havoc all game, closing holes and applying pressure in a hurry.
“We have great players in all 11 spots on the field, so we’re constantly making plays,” linebacker Michael Aiello said. “It starts up front with Bobby Galindo, Kieran Kenny and Jimmy Loud. They push the offensive line back every play.”
Aiello had 4 ½ tackles and Will Barrett led South Side (4-0) with seven tackles. Galindo, Kenny and Loud combined for 7 ½ tackles and Brendan Vetter recorded an interception in the third quarter.
They helped their offense get back on track as the Cyclones started three of their four possessions in the second quarter on Roosevelt’s side of the field. Jack Lozito capped a seven-play, 57-yard drive by bursting through a massive hole for a 20-yard rushing touchdown to get South Side on the board with 6:17 left in the first half.
“It was wide-open,” Lozito said. “Billy Gryboski kicked out his guy and I was able to follow it through untouched. We really needed that because we had a wake-up call in the first quarter.”
On South Side’s next drive, Lozito took a backward swing pass from Owen West and ran up the sideline for a 37-yard score. Lozito totaled 85 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries.
West tossed a 19-yard touchdown pass to Harry Sciallis with 11 seconds left in the half to give the Cyclones a 20-0 lead. West tacked on a 15-yard touchdown pass to Jack Boyens to seal the victory in fourth quarter.
The Cyclones are off to a rapid start after finishing last season 5-5 and they’ll have a chance to take sole possession of first place in Nassau III in a home game against Wantagh (3-0) on Friday at 6 p.m.
“We’re sick of getting our teeth kicked in by these bigger schools, so we’re going into next week angry,” West said. “We’re tied of losing and we want to try to win out.”