Clear 44° Good Morning
Clear 44° Good Morning
SportsHigh SchoolFootball

Plainedge downs Roosevelt in Nassau III football semifinal

Plainedge quarterback No. 14 Davien Kuinlan rushes for

Plainedge quarterback No. 14 Davien Kuinlan rushes for a gain during a Nassau III football semifinal at Hofstra University on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015. Photo Credit: James Escher

Just call them the Bleach Boys . . . and these days the Plainedge players are having Fun, Fun, Fun.

Don't go by the team photo in the Nassau County playoff program, which features the Red Devils in various hairstyles and colors. Check them out now: Every one is a bleached blond.

"Some of the linemen weren't in favor of it, but we voted and we all went to the salon together," Plainedge quarterback Davien Kuinlan said with a laugh Saturday after adding to his Long Island-best rushing total with 218 yards and four touchdowns in a 53-13 victory over Roosevelt in a Nassau III semifinal at Hofstra's Shuart Stadium.

No. 1 Plainedge (10-0) will face Glen Cove for the Nassau III championship at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Hofstra. No. 4 Roosevelt finished 6-4.

"Last year we tried the bleached Mohawk for the playoffs and no one liked it," said Kuinlan, who has accumulated 2,147 yards and 32 touchdowns in his senior year.

So on Nov. 2, two days after the team's regular-season finale, all of the Red Devils turned up at Envy Me Salon in Massapequa, right near Plainedge High School.

"Luke's older sister works there," Kuinlan said, referring to senior wide receiver and defensive back Luke Lospitalier.

Kuinlan has been displaying his own expert cuts all season, and started fast against the Rough Riders.

On the first series, Kuinlan singlehandedly took Plainedge 73 yards in three plays -- runs of 13, 12 and 48 yards for the touchdown.

He also scored on a 14-yard run for a 21-0 lead and made it 28-6 with a 2-yard run early in the second quarter.

His final touchdown was on an inside cut on a quarterback draw up the middle for 31 yards and a 45-6 halftime advantage. Kuinlan had only one carry in the second half.

"It comes down to the guys up front," he said. "I trust my blockers and they always make plays."

One of those blockers, right tackle Tyler Wiegmann, attributed the team's success -- 390 yards of offense Saturday -- to "chemistry. We all play off each other. We are quick off the ball and it's what we expect of each other."

While defenses may expect Kuinlan to run, they don't know in which direction Nassau's all-time leading career rusher will cut. Sometimes it appears as if Kuinlan is jogging in place, just waiting to make his move.

"We run a fluid offense," Wiegmann said. "Whatever we do, he will feed off it."

Kuinlan acknowledged it wasn't always that way. "I've grown into it. In 10th grade I was out of control," he said. "Now I've learned how to read my blockers."

Most times he runs out of the shotgun/spread, but occasionally, Nicholas Checchia -- who threw a TD pass -- lines up under center as quarterback and Kuinlan is the deep back in an I-formation.

"We all accept our roles," Kuinlan said. "This year we realized we could run out of the I. My linemen do all the work and I just run behind them."

These blonds really are having more fun.

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.