By the time first-string quarterback John Giller came on for Massapequa’s first full drive of the second quarter, backup Tim Garguilo had thrown two touchdown passes and was able to make the handoff with a 10-point lead.
Giller quickly made it grow. For the game he passed for 76 yards and a TD and ran for 75 yards and three scores as Massapequa rolled to a 42-13 Nassau I win at Syosset on Saturday to improve to 4-0.
"It’s a blessing to have two kids that can play at that level," Massapequa coach Kevin Shippos said. "We needed Tim in the first quarter. So he came in and did [the] job. And there’s also a third one, Ryan Heidrich, who will take over next year. Coach [Brian] Rath, our offensive coordinator, does a great job developing quarterbacks."
Neither Shippos nor Giller would explain why Giller’s entry was delayed. But it didn’t hurt a team that now has outscored its opponents, 159-22. Oceanside also is 4-0 and has outscored the opposition 139-19. These Conference I contenders are scheduled to meet in the finale of the six-game regular season April 17 at Oceanside.
"Can we challenge them? Absolutely," Shippos said. "I think we can challenge everybody if we can execute. They’re a great team . . . It’s going to be exciting."
Syosset, which fell 43-13 to Oceanside, claimed a 6-0 lead in this one. Stephen DeStefani, who threw for 179 yards and two TDs, connected with Luca Cutolo for an 8-yard score. But on the next play from scrimmage, Heidrich flipped it to Garguilo, who went right and lofted a 59-yard touchdown to Ricky Hillgardner.
"That was a jet sweep pass," Garguilo said. "We’ve been working that all week."
Then the defense delivered a safety on one of its five sacks. Garguilo followed with a 6-yard scoring pass to Michael D’Alessandro to make it 16-6.
Giller entered and raced for a 46-yard TD on his fourth play. On the next possession, he hit Hillgardner for a 23-yard score. That made it 28-6 at halftime.
"We’re just a powerhouse," Giller said when asked about the offense. "All the credit goes to our offensive line."
Giller ran it in from the 6- and 3-yard lines in the second half. DeStefani fired a 12-yard scoring strike to Matt McPhee for Syosset’s second-half highlight.
"As compared to last year, we see a lot of improvement," said Syosset coach Paul Rorke, who watched his team fall to 2-2 following a 2-6 season. "The main thing is, the kids, they’re thrilled to play, based on the [pandemic] circumstances."