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John Pedranghelu runs for three scores in Locust Valley win

Locust Valley's John Pedranghelu takes off for one

Locust Valley's John Pedranghelu takes off for one of his touchdowns during a Nassau IV football game against Roslyn at Locust Valley on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015. Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

Locust Valley's football players assembled on the goal line, helmets still on their heads, and ran a series of sprints to the 40-yard line and back.

At the start of each sprint, they shouted out a letter. Eventually, they spelled PRIDE, belting out the full word on their last sprint.

This after a 54-6 win over Roslyn on Homecoming Saturday. The Falcons improved to 3-0 in Nassau IV.

"It just says everything," coach Matt McFarland said about why he told his players to spell pride. "It's just a great word."

Post-game sprints are not the norm for Locust Valley, though they have been recently. Out of respect for his opponents, McFarland pulled his starters by halftime each of the last two weeks, leading 47-0 against Roslyn and 28-0 against Valley Stream South. To help his players prepare for a full, four-quarter game, he had them sprint after the final whistle.

"Those sprints weren't punishment," senior lineman Spencer Matthaei said. "We know that it's not going to be a second-half blowout every single week, so we're just keeping the conditioning up."

Locust Valley's pride took a bit of a hit when Roslyn's Adam Combs connected with Jackson Krush for a 14-yard touchdown as time expired, ending the team's bid for a second straight shutout. But that was just a small hiccup on a day that saw nearly everything else go the Falcons' way.

Ramell Phillips forced a fumble, recovered by Matthew Dellaquila on Roslyn's 29, on the opening kickoff, and John Pedranghelu ran up the middle for a 21-yard touchdown two plays later to give the Falcons a 7-0 lead.

On Locust Valley's next drive, Pedranghelu ran off the right side for a 79-yard score. He also ran right and cut back over the middle for a 38-yard touchdown later in the first quarter to give Locust Valley a 21-0 lead.

Pedranghelu, who did not touch the ball after the first quarter, ran for 146 yards on four carries, all opened up by the 6-4, 255-pound Matthaei.

"Wherever Spencer is, we're going to find a way to run behind him," McFarland said. "Big boy like that, you've got to use him."

Owen Trepeta, whose pick-six and fumble return for a touchdown were both erased by penalties, got in the end zone with a 20-yard pass from Tyler Liantonio.

"Oh, the touchdown, I was like 'thank God there's no flag,' " Trepeta said.

And Tom Talenti ran five times for 62 yards and a touchdown. All other scorers got their first touchdowns of the season: Colin McBride, Reed Rudowsky and Kyle Elrod.

"These kids," McFarland said, "are proving in the second half that they can hold their own with the other team's starters, which is a nice thing."

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