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North Shore scores 6 unanswered touchdowns to top Clarke

Daniel Quigley #7 of North Shore stiff arms

Daniel Quigley #7 of North Shore stiff arms his way to a rushing gain during the Nassau County Conference IV football semifinals against Clarke at Shuart Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021. North Shore won by a score of 42-16. Credit: James Escher

The fortitude to answer. The savvy to create opportunities and then cash in on them. The mental toughness to hold a singular focus through an entire season.

These are some of qualities one finds in championship football teams and they were all there for North Shore in its Nassau Conference IV semifinal against Clarke on Saturday. The Vikings will find out if they are the complete package soon enough.

The second-seeded Vikings took an initial punch from No. 3 Clarke and hit back to tie the score, forced turnovers on the next three Rams possessions and converted them into touchdowns and had a run of six unanswered scores in all for a 42-16 victory at Hofstra’s Shuart Stadium.

The Vikings advance to play in the game they’ve been fixated on since training camp: Saturday’s 12:30 p.m. county championship game against No. 4 Cold Spring Harbor/No. 1 Seaford . North Shore (8-2) lost in the last school year’s final to Wantagh and will be going for its second county title and first since 1975.

"I was only a sophomore when we played that game and lost and I saw the anger and frustration that team felt," said Peter Liotta, who teams with Daniel Quigley to give the Vikings two quarterback looks. "There’s been a feeling on this team all through the year about wanting to get back to that game and it’s only grown as we keep getting better."

Liotta was 4-for-4 passing for 85 yards and a 10-yard touchdowns to Nicholas Livoti and also scored a TD on an 11-yard run. Livoti also rushed for 95 yards including a 48-yard score and had a fumble recovery that led to a touchdown. Daniel Quigley added a pair of rushing touchdowns and William Feldmann had an interception and a fumble recovery for the Vikings.

"Turnovers can completely swing the momentum of a game like it did today," Feldmann said. "The only thing better than coming up with a turnover is when the offense cashes in."

"I’m proud of this team, for the way it responded to their initial score and the way they made the extra chances count," North Shore coach Dan Agovino said. "They have played with a lot of determination.

For Clarke (7-3) quarterback Nick Giardino rushed for 123 yards, including a 48-yard touchdown burst, and was 8-fo-17 passing for 86 yards, including a 38-yard TD pass to Sean Welsh for the Rams’ 8-0 lead.

The Vikings tied it in the second quarter on a Nicholas La Rosa 1-yard leap into the end zone. Things spun up for there for North Shore. Two snaps later Feldmann recovered a fumble that would lead to a Liotta 3-yard touchdown run. Clarke muffed the ensuin kickoff and two plays later Livoti was off to the races for his 48-yard TD. Feldmann’s interception ended the next Ram possession and led to the Liotta-to-Livoti touchdown pass.

It was a 28-point outburst and the Vikings never looked back.

"Playoff ball is different – you have to turn it up for your teammates," Livoti said. "We got close over the course of this season and now you’re seeing it on the field."

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