Sachem North quarterback Mike Licata (no.12) heads up the sideline...

Sachem North quarterback Mike Licata (no.12) heads up the sideline for a touchdown against William Floyd. (Nov. 24, 2013) Credit: George A. Faella

You can forgive Mike Licata for getting a little jittery as he neared the end zone. He'd never been there before.

"It was amazing. My first varsity touchdown!" said Licata, Sachem North's fourth-string quarterback, who was pressed into service in the second quarter Sunday because of injuries.

He had never taken a varsity snap at the position, but the junior had a memorable debut as the Flaming Arrows beat Floyd, 28-7, in the Suffolk I championship game at Stony Brook.

In the second quarter, he rifled a quick screen to Malik Pierre, who sped down the left sideline for a 45-yard score, Licata's first varsity TD pass.

The first TD he personally scored came in the third quarter on a trick play. "I didn't think we'd do it. I didn't even practice it," he said. "When they called it, I thought, 'Oh my God!' "

He took the snap, pitched it back to Pierre and circled out of the backfield to grab Pierre's pass. Floyd was fooled and Licata raced alone toward the promised land, 26 yards away.

But he heard footsteps. "I thought he was going to catch me," Licata said. "All I saw was that corner of the end zone. I tried to stretch it across. He got me, I fell and the ball slipped out. I was across the plane."

It was a close call -- TV replays indicated the ball might have come out before he crossed the goal line -- but the officials huddled and ruled touchdown. "I always dreamt about my first varsity touchdown," he said. "I did not think it would be in the county championship game and I did not think it would be on a pitch-throwback play, either."

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