In the entertaining, three-ring aerial circus that is Sayville football — the greatest show on earth — quarterback Jack Coan is the main attraction. But Saturday, Long Island’s all-time leader in career touchdown passes and yards passing, added another dangerous dimension. Coan ran when the Kings Park defense thought he would pass and he handed off when the Kingsmen thought he would run.
Or as running back Ashton Bradley said, “Jack distracted them.”
Coan, playing only the first half, completed 10 of 13 passes for 193 yards and three touchdowns, ran for 99 yards on eight carries, including a slick 66-yard touchdown run, and spread the ball around as the Golden Flashes rolled past visiting Kings Park, 58-14, Saturday before a Homecoming Day crowd of more than 1,600 fans in Sayville.
Bradley carried six times for 77 yards, including a 32-yard touchdown run, and made one of the Golden Flashes’ four interceptions. Jason Intermesoli caught five passes for 119 yards, scored 10 points on seven-for-seven extra-point attempts and his first field goal in four years that was set up by his 86-yard interception return.
By the time Kings Park’s Matt Meyers burst up the middle for a 99-yard touchdown run, Sayville had scored 52 points and inserted its subs.
“We saw something on film that showed us we could run our quarterback this week,” Sayville coach Rob Hoss said. “This is what we saw of Jack last year [when he passed for 2,499 yards and ran for another 1,275 in an undefeated Long Island championship season]. The more of a dual threat that he is, the better our offense runs. They were keying on shutting down our tailback [Bradley] so we ran our quarterback. Then they focused on Jack pulling it back [on handoffs] and we had our tailback free.”
That was Bradley for most of the first half, as he scored one touchdown and set up another with a neat 30-yard run. “At first, they were bending their defensive ends to stop Jack, but after he broke a few runs, there were huge gaps for me,” Bradley said. “I feel I’m underestimated as a running back so when I see a gap, I go for it.”
Nate Bauland also benefitted from Coan’s distraction tactics, taking a pitch from Coan on a read option and racing 42 yards untouched to make it 35-0 midway through the second quarter.
Of course, Sayville’s running game — Coan, Bradley or anyone else — benefits from the threat of Coan’s best attribute: his strong, accurate right arm. He dropped a perfect pass over the defense into Jake Kolar’s arms for a 20-yard touchdown on the game’s first drive. He found Seamus Burns down the right sideline for a 25-yard touchdown pass on the third play of the second quarter, and he hit Kolar again on a 5-yard fade to make it 42-0 with 3:15 left before halftime.
Intermesoli didn’t score, but was Coan’s favorite target Saturday with gains of 32 and 46 yards. “We have great chemistry. We’ve played together since the fourth grade and we’re ready to go in our senior year,” Intermesoli said. “Once Jack broke away, they worried about the run.”
But of course, defenses must always worry about Coan’s passes. “Jack puts the ball where it needs to be every time,” Intermesoli said.