If the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, then the Seaford football team should be in pretty good shape.
“We know we each have a job to do,” senior two-way lineman Pat Quinn said. “Everyone matters and it’s not just one guy doing it all.”
“The offensive line blocks hard every week for the running backs so they can find the holes and rack up yards,” senior fullback and defensive lineman Chris Surace said. “When the defense makes a play, the offense feels like they need to respond in a big way, and vice versa. We feed off each other.”
The Vikings (10-1) will attempt to win their second Long Island championship in three seasons and fourth overall when they play Shoreham-Wading River (10-1) for the Class IV title at noon on Saturday at Hofstra.
“We’re a tight-knit group. We have a lot of chemistry and believe in each other,” senior offensive lineman and linebacker Tim Russell said. “We trust that whoever goes in knows their responsibilities and can make plays.”
Seaford has outscored its opponents 357-89 in 11 games, including five shutouts.
The one blemish on its schedule came on Oct. 5 in a 44-6 loss at Cold Spring Harbor. It was the only time all season that the defense surrendered more than 14 points.
“These are kids who took a beating earlier in the year and got off the canvas. They could have easily packed it in and had a mediocre season, but they didn’t,” Seaford coach Rob Perpall said.
He added: “We came back on Monday the following week and I told them, we aren’t going to watch the film, we aren’t going to talk about the game, but we are going to practice harder. They never questioned a thing.”
The Vikings ultimately avenged that defeat last Saturday when they gutted out a 14-8 win over Cold Spring Harbor in the Nassau Conference IV championship game.
They will face another tough test against Shoreham-Wading River dual-threat quarterback Xavier Arline, one of Long Island’s top players.
How will they stop the senior, who has accounted for 46 combined touchdowns (37 rushing), more than 2,000 rushing yards and more than 1,100 passing yards this season?
“We have to have people assigned to him on every play. Whether we can stop him or not, I don’t know. Nobody else has seemed to be able to,” Perpall said, laughing. “We are going to play assignment football. It’s a tall order because he really is that good.”
Two-way linemen Nick Brandi and Joe Cain were sophomores on Seaford’s 2017 Long Island Class IV championship team and hope to experience that winning feeling one more time.
“The thing I remember most was the huddle prior to taking the final kneel-down. It was something I’ll never forget,” Brandi said. “There would be nothing better than winning another championship with your friends you’ve known since you were 5 years old in kindergarten.”
“To have the opportunity to end my high school career with two championships in four years would be pretty special,” Cain said.
The Vikings may not be the biggest, the strongest or the fastest team, but that doesn’t seem to bother Perpall.
“I tell the kids every year, just play as hard as you can for as long as you can. Regardless of the score, there’ll be no regrets because nobody can ask for more than that,” he said. “I can’t ask them to be 6-foot-4, I can’t ask them to run the 40 in 4.3, but I can ask them to hustle and give it their all, and they do every time.”
Seaford LIC Results
Year, Opponent, Result, Score
1998: Babylon, won, 23-12
2002: Babylon, lost, 30-6
2007: Amityville, lost, 28-0
2008: Babylon, lost, 35-28
2009: Amityville, won, 34-20
2010: Glenn, lost, 28-7
2016: Shoreham-Wading River, lost, 20-10
2017: Miller Place, won, 29-27