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Seaford grinds its way to Nassau Conference IV title win over Cold Spring Harbor

Seaford's Thomas Viscio runs the ball against Cold

Seaford's Thomas Viscio runs the ball against Cold Spring Harbor during the Nassau Conference IV football championship game at Shuart Stadium on Nov. 23, 2019. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Seaford used its grinding brand of football for a takedown of Cold Spring Harbor in Saturday’s Nassau Conference IV championship game.

The Vikings used their blue-collar ground-and-pound attack to consume 31 of the game’s 48 minutes. Seaford held the Seahawks to 46 rushing yards and made three interceptions.

And when it was over, the Vikings — who lost to Cold Spring Harbor by 38 points in the regular season — walked away with a 14-8 triumph at Hofstra’s Shuart Stadium.

“We have a really strong will and this is something we wanted very badly,” offensive lineman and linebacker Tim Russell said. “We weren’t going to give in. We didn’t feel good about losing that earlier] game. We didn’t feel good about losing this [championship] game to them last year. There was no way they were going to want it more than us.”

Seaford (10-1) captured its 10th county title and earned a spot in the Long Island Class IV championship game at noon Saturday at Hofstra. The Vikings, who will be seeking their fourth L.I. title, will face the winner of Sunday’s Suffolk Division IV championship game between Mount Sinai and Shoreham-Wading River.

“They played with heart the whole game, and that’s why I love this team,” Seaford coach Rob Perpall said. “We aren’t fancy. We may not be the biggest or fastest team. But we overcome things together. We’re blue-collar and this is a blue-collar win.”

Thomas Viscio rushed 32 times for 100 yards and a touchdown, with his finest work coming in a 19-play, 80-yard drive that bridged the third and fourth quarters. He carried 15 times in a drive that consumed 9:46 and capped it with a 1-yard touchdown for a 14-0 lead with 6:47 left.

On the second play of the Seahawks’ ensuing possession, Craig Ackerman intercepted a pass. The Vikings’ ground game chewed up three more minutes and two Cold Spring Harbor timeouts, with Viscio carrying the ball on five of six plays. “They saw what we were doing, but they couldn’t stop us,” he said.

Added quarterback Logan Masters: “All that time that we’re going downhill and they’re on defense takes a toll.”

Masters was 8-for-13 passing for 71 yards. He threw an 11-yard pass to Jason Rebaudo that was caught, fumbled at the goal line and recovered by Kyle Phieffer in the end zone for a 7-0 Vikings lead in the second quarter.

Cold Spring Harbor’s Richie Striano was 8-for-15 passing for 165 yards and threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Casey Reynolds late in the fourth quarter, but Masters gained 6 yards on a third-and-3 in the final minute to ice the win.

Seaford’s Chris Surace was in on six tackles, including a sack. Nick Luciano had five tackles with two sacks and Ackerman had an interception and a fumble recovery.

“[Seaford] did what they do: They held the ball, [dominated] time of possession, they ground on us,” Cold Spring Harbor coach Jon Mendreski said. “We didn’t help ourselves. We shot ourselves in the foot a couple of times . . . They played a great game.”

Perpall said that 44-6 loss to the Seahawks in Week 6 made a difference. “I think losing to Cold Spring Harbor changed us. You could see it in the practices,” he said. “They felt they could become better and they put in the effort and did it.”

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