TODAY'S PAPER
Scattered Clouds 56° Good Morning
Scattered Clouds 56° Good Morning
SportsHigh SchoolFootball

Nick Calandra, Danny Roell spark Seaford to Nassau IV title

Danny Roell #23 of Seaford rushes for a

Danny Roell #23 of Seaford rushes for a gain during the Nassau County varsity football Conference IV final against Carle Place-Wheatley at Hofstra University on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016. Photo Credit: James Escher

Nick Calandra and Danny Roell had good seats at Hof stra’s Shuart Stadium the last time Seaford won a county championship in 2010. They were in the stands behind the north goalposts. “We tried to catch the footballs on extra points,” Roell said.

They were much closer to the action Saturday. In fact, they were in the middle of it.

Roell rushed for 190 yards and two touchdowns and Calandra led a ferocious defensive effort with 4 1⁄2 tackles as Seaford defeated Carle Place-Wheatley, 20-0, in the Nassau IV championship game at Hofstra.

“It’s been my dream since I watched that game in 2010 as a 10-year-old,” said Calandra, who also scored on a 1-yard dive in the second quarter to make it 13-0.

The Vikings (11-0) will face Suffolk champion Shoreham-Wading River for the Long Island Class IV championship on Nov. 27 at 4:30 p.m. at Stony Brook.

Seaford scored the only touchdown it wound up needing on the first drive of the game. Roell ran it in from 23 yards out and Josh Pinnock added the extra point.

In keeping with its relentless approach of rarely punting, going for it on nearly every fourth down and attempting pooch or onside kicks after most scores, the Vikings recovered the ensuing onside kick. The Vikings didn’t score but continued to put the Wild Frogs (8-3) in poor field position.

On Seaford’s first drive of the second quarter, Roell carried on eight of the 12 plays, gaining 62 of the 72 yards. Calandra, often the lead blocker for Roell, finished it off from the 1, and essentially CPW was finished, even with more than half the game remaining.

In a contest in which neither team completed a pass, the Wild Frogs were held to 64 yards rushing and did not get their initial first down until the third quarter . . . and that came on a fake punt. Such was the dominance of the Seaford defense.

“Everyone had a key to read and that told us where the play was going,” said inside linebacker A.J. Cain, also the Vikings’ starting quarterback.

Carle Place-Wheatley had one decent drive, starting the third quarter by marching 47 yards in 12 plays and using up 6:50. But on fourth-and-4 from the Seaford 7, Kevin Murphy stopped triple-option quarterback Chris Kelly on a keeper. That was the Wild Frogs’ last offensive croak.

They did, however, make some noise on defense when Luke Caliendo intercepted Cain at the Seaford 32 with 3:07 left in the third quarter. But Cain returned the favor, picking off Kelly’s pass three plays later.

“We actually changed the defense on that play and I went to safety,” Cain said. “Everyone was covered and when he threw it, I just made the play.”

Everyone on offense made plays after that interception. The Vikings moved 66 yards in 16 incremental runs, none more than 8 yards, and iced it on Roell’s 4-yard pop up the middle.

“It’s all on our offensive line and my fullback [Calandra] who blocks for me,” Roell said. “I’ve never seen anybody hit harder than he does. On that last drive, we just looked at the scoreboard and said, ‘Eight minutes left to be county champions.’ ”

More high schools

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to Newsday is free for Optimum customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE