West Islip’s Pat Mulcahy turned homecoming into a block party.
The senior made a statement on the opening possession of host West Islip’s 28-6 win over Bellport in Suffolk II football Saturday, blocking the Clippers’ punt after a 3-and-out and watching as teammate Jake Richter scooped the ball off the turf and scampered in from 12 yards out.
“I actually wasn’t supposed to block the punt on that play,” said Mulcahy, who accounted for two of West Islip’s five interceptions. “We were just supposed to block our guys. I just pushed the offensive lineman into the ball.”
That play set the tone for a half dominated by West Islip (5-0), which went into the break with a 28-0 advantage after Jake Guercio found Dillon Carrino on a swing pass for a 19-yard touchdown.
It was equal parts offense and defense in the first half, as Drew Cestaro’s 117 yards from scrimmage (66 rushing, 51 receiving) on seven touches allowed the Lions to build their lead.
He took a screen pass from Guercio 51 yards to the 1-yard line and scored on the next carry, increasing the lead to 14-0. Then with 4:15 left in the half, he ran up the middle, cut to his left and sprinted down the left side for a 42-yard TD.
“Without our offensive line, I’m not doing anything,” Cestaro said of teammates Tim Mullane, Kevin Kane, James Foote and James Romano. “I give them full credit for everything all of our backs do.”
The defense limited dynamic Bellport (5-1) quarterback Jimmy Morrell, who was held to 6 of 27 passing for 88 yards after helping Bellport average 45 points in its first five games.
He rushed for 141 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries.
“That guy’s one of the better quarterbacks we’ve seen in a long time,” coach Steve Miletti said. “He’s a tough kid to contain.”
But contain him they did. The Lions used a steady diet of pressure and blanket and nickel coverages to confuse the Bellport offense.
Mulcahy (two), Carrino, Joe Valentino and Antonio Alicea had interceptions. Matt Moynihan, Kevin DiCapua and Romano each had a sack. Mullane was also a constant presence in the backfield.
“It’s a huge statement,” Mulcahy said. “They were the No. 1 offense in the league. We almost shut them out.”
It was the block to kick off homecoming that got it all started.