Jack Coan directs Sayville's 33-19 win over Westhampton
Jack Coan, famous for his right arm, spent most of the day using his legs: to sweep left, to cut right, to pound the ball up the middle.
As he bulldozed his way into the end zone for his fourth rushing touchdown in Sayville's 33-19 win over Westhampton in Suffolk III Saturday, the question arose: could this be another record-setting campaign for Coan?
"Nah, I don't think so,'' Coan said, smiling. "But I'm definitely going to run the ball more this year.''
The junior quarterback set Long Island records for passing yardage (3,431) and touchdowns (40) last season, but the Golden Flashes unveiled a new receiving corps Saturday: Jake Kolar, Jason Intermesoli, Jack Marshall and Michael Dionisio.
"Given that fact,'' Sayville coach Rob Hoss said, "Jack's going to have to keep it himself more.''
On Westhampton's first possession, defensive back James Lyons jumped a route and came down with an interception before running 60 yards to set up Sayville at the 1-yard line. On the next play, Coan, who ran 26 times for 129 yards, kept it himself for the score.
Dylan Laube answered for Westhampton on a sweep left, going untouched up the sideline for a 48-yard touchdown to cut the Sayville lead to 7-6 in the first quarter.
In the second, Coan capped a three-minute, eight-play drive with an eight-yard touchdown run to give Sayville a 13-6 lead.
In the second half, the sea of purple-clad fans attending saw what they remembered so well from last season: Coan the huge playmaker. He opened with a 45-yard run before hitting Dionisio for a 36-yard gain, then an 11-yard touchdown.
Coan completed 15 of 27 passes for 172 yards.
On Sayville's next possession, he connected with Dionisio on back-to-back plays: an 18-yard slant, and a 20-yard fade, which Dionisio pulled down with one hand. One fan screamed, "Odell!'' likening the Sayville junior to Giants star Odell Beckham Jr.
"I practice those all the time,'' Dionisio said.
But Westhampton didn't quit. Zach Arrasate broke a 53-yard run to make it 26-12, and on their next possession, the Hurricanes executed a textbook hook-and-ladder to make it 26-19: Griffin Schulz completed a 15-yard pass to Bryce Phillips, who pitched it to Laube, who ran 38 yards for a touchdown.
But Nick Casazza's interception gave Sayville the ball with under five minutes left to play, and Coan added the finishing touch with his fourth rushing touchdown.
"I really don't have personal goals this year,'' Coan said. "I feel like if we win the Long Island championship, everything else will fall into place.''