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Jimmy Kelleher leads MacArthur to win over Oceanside

MacArthur quarterback Jimmy Kelleher steps back to pass

MacArthur quarterback Jimmy Kelleher steps back to pass in a game against Oceanside at MacArthur on Friday, Oct. 10, 2014. Photo Credit: Steven Ryan

Remember Tom Kelleher? He starred for the MacArthur football team a few years back. A power runner in the truest sense, he was a bruising, punishing battering ram. Throw in any other adjective that describes a hard-nosed style.

Jimmy Kelleher is nothing like his brother.

"We grew up differently," said the younger Kelleher, now a quarterback for the Generals. "Tom was always the big, powerful guy and I wasn't quite that. We're definitely not the same."

Could've fooled us. Well, at least for a few moments Friday night in MacArthur's 35-28 home win over Oceanside.

The junior dissected the defense, completing 19 of 26 passes for 183 yards and a touchdown and plowing his way to two short touchdown runs in leading the Generals to what technically was an upset in Nassau Conference I.

MacArthur (4-1) moved up after spending the previous two seasons in Conference II and was the sixth seed in preseason. Oceanside (2-3) was No. 2.

Kelleher ran for only 17 yards, but his second score -- a 3-yard plunge on a quarterback sneak -- gave MacArthur a 28-7 lead with 9:40 remaining.

Wideout Matt DiBlaiso deftly created separation on short and intermediate routes to snag nine catches for 69 yards, and Vin Martino ran for 138 yards and two TDs on 18 carries. Paul Giuliano added four receptions for 41 yards, and Mike Papach had a 42-yard catch.

"He's a great quarterback and everyone knows he can sling it," Martino said of Kelleher, who is 6-1, 185 pounds. "But he showed he's got some power and can surprise people."

Some of that power was provided by center Kevin Carboy, a 6-4, 315-pound force who specializes in pancake blocks. Martino, too, benefited from great blocking, breaking a 49-yard TD run off right tackle that gave the Generals a 35-14 lead with 5:49 left. He came off the edge and pulled out of an arm tackle before breaking free up the sideline.

Jared Wolfe's 6-yard touchdown -- coming back on a corner route off Kelleher's rollout to the right -- gave the Generals a 14-7 lead in the second quarter. That score was set up by Marc Arboleda's 52-yard catch-and-run off a pass from Martino on a fake punt on fourth-and-10.

"We worked on it all week," Martino said. "Coach [Bob Fehrenbach] broke it out at the perfect time and that was a big momentum play."

Vinny Guarino threw for 295 yards and three touchdowns, and Brandy Diaz ran for 71 yards and a score, but Oceanside's offense was mostly held in check for the first three quarters.

Mike Rothberg made nine tackles, Mike Brown had an interception and Wolfe recovered a fumble for MacArthur, which stymied the Sailors' hurry-up. "We knew what they wanted to do and were prepared for it," Rothberg said. "We did what we had to do to stop it up."

Oceanside rallied when Vinny Guarino threw TD passes of 43 and 49 yards in the final three minutes, but it was too late.

 

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