Call them fast. Call them aggressive. Call them opportunistic. Call them anything you want. But make no mistake — Roosevelt’s defense is good and has the footballs to prove it.
The Rough Riders ran all over the field yesterday afternoon, grabbing four interceptions and a boatload of respect during their 27-0 win over Bethpage in a Nassau III contest at Roosevelt High School.
The Roosevelt turnover machine was out in full force, spreading the wealth — the Rough Riders snagged passes out of the air with gusto. Corey Bull, Deshawn Jackson, Farrakhan Anderson and Timothy Santana each had an interception. Anderson led the defense with nine tackles and Tay-vion Johnson recovered a fumble for Roosevelt (2-0).
“The secondary played great,” said Bull, who also rushed for 93 yards on 16 carries and scored a touchdown. “We stayed disciplined the whole time.”
Bull started the takeaway tally, grabbing a floating Bethpage pass with 5:59 left in the first quarter.
“Coach [Joe Vito] told me to watch for the [pass to the] tight end every trip, because they are going to do it,” Bull said. “It came and I made my play.”
Two minutes later, Bull’s five-yard touchdown run, set up by his 19-yard dash down the sideline earlier in the drive, gave Roosevelt a 7-0 lead.
“I saw an opening on the outside,” Bull said. “Coach just said ‘Keep taking it outside and follow your blocks all the way up the field.’ We pushed it in for the score.”
Anderson intercepted Bethpage (1-1) at the Roosevelt 10-yard line with 1:26 left in the second quarter. On the ensuing drive, quarterback Stephen Vailes found Anderson in the end zone for a 29-yard touchdown pass. Cesar Lopez’s extra-point gave Roosevelt a 14-0 halftime lead.
Anderson had dropped a Vailes pass earlier in the drive, but appealed to his quarterback in the huddle to give him another opportunity. “I told him to run the same play and I’ll catch it again,” Anderson said. “I had to make up for it.”
“I have confidence in him,” Vailes said. “I know that when I threw it up to him, he would be able to get it wherever I threw it.”
Roosevelt added two more touchdowns in the second half. Kevon Hall scored on a five-yard run with 7:22 left and Santana caught a 26-yard pass from Vailes with 3:51 remaining.
Four interceptions on defense. Four touchdowns on offense. That’s a hard combo to beat.