The MacArthur football team had been looking forward to this game.
The Generals (5-0) had their best offensive effort of the season in a 47-6 victory over Carey on Friday night. The result was the direct opposite of MacArthur's previous matchup against Carey, a 13-7 loss in a Nassau II semifinal last season.
Hugh Kelleher rushed for 313 yards and four touchdowns, while Ryan Isom added 105 rushing yards and two touchdowns for the Generals.
“The offensive line was really opening it up for me, so I was really getting to the second level right away,” Kelleher said. “And once I’m at the second level, I break one or two tackles and I’m off to the races.”
Heading into Friday night's game, the Generals had allowed just 10 points in four games. The Generals forced interceptions on each of Carey’s first two possessions with Matt Papach's interception on Carey's first drive resulting in Isom's 17-yard touchdown run. Colin Muller's INT on the next possession led to Kelleher's 82-yard touchdown run on the next play for a 14-0 first-quarter lead.
“We were able to force them to get rid of the ball early and to make cuts in the backfield before they get to our linebackers,” MacArthur coach Bobby Fehrenbach said. “When we force them to make those decisions behind the line, it’s going to put pressure on them.”
Quarterback Jason Kessler scored for Carey (2-3) on an 11-yard run with 7:43 left in the second quarter to make it 21-6.
After Isom's touchdown run on the next possession, Carey was able to move the ball again, but Andrew Calderon and Greg Milau stopped Kessler on an option run on fourth-and-inches from the MacArthur 12-yard line.
Kelleher accounted for all 88 yards on the next drive, capping it off with a 2-yard touchdown run with 21.7 seconds left to give Carey a 34-6 halftime lead.
And last year’s heartbreaker? It might have played a role.
“I didn’t mention it in practice this week," Fehrenbach said. "I’m not really a rah-rah, let's get revenge guy. But they knew.”