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Seaford’s ground game beats Cold Spring Harbor

Second-seeded Seaford blanked No. 1 Cold Spring Harbor, 21-0, in the Nassau IV football final at Hofstra's Shuart Stadium on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017. (Credit: Newsday / John Boell)

Seaford did not put a single football in the air on Thursday night, but the Vikings celebrated their eighth Nassau IV championship by putting their coach in the air.

“That was the game plan: Not to throw,” coach Rob Perpall said after a thorough 21-0 victory over Cold Spring Harbor at Hofstra’s Shuart Stadium that featured 234 yards rushing and an opportunistic defense that made five takeaways. “They have a lot of talent on offense. I wanted to control the game and keep the ball out of their hands.”

No. 2 Seaford (9-2) will face Miller Place next Friday at Hof stra in the Long Island Class IV title game. No. 1 Cold Spring Harbor finished 10-1.

Considering the fact that Seaford has been to the Long Island Championships so many times, the hoisting of Perpall onto the shoulders of several players was somewhat surprising.

The veteran coach explained the gesture this way: “We overcame a lot of adversity. We got beat up pretty bad by these guys [21-7 in Week 4] and Locust Valley shut us down [14-0 in Week 6]. But we’re a close-knit team. Like a family, and the family showed up tonight.”

That family featured a brotherhood of offensive linemen and running backs that controlled the clock and the pace of the game right from the opening drive, when Seaford kept the ball for nearly six minutes before turning it over on downs. But the Seahawks didn’t keep the ball very long. On their second play, Ryan Butler recovered a fumble at the CSH 18, and three plays later, Tyler Volpi punched it in from the 3.

Volpi led the Vikings with 133 yards on 26 carries. The team’s leading rusher for the season, Joe Angelastro, added 67 yards on 18 carries, including TD runs of 1 and 4 yards in the second quarter. Nick Calandra had 42 yards on nine carries.

Cold Spring Harbor could not deal with the Vikings’ eight-man rotation up front, led by guard Andrew Chirico, a co-captain and leader of the offensive line. The other road-graders were tackles Kris Luciano and Jack Supinsky, guards Nick Brandi and Paul Scaccia, center Jake Masters and tight ends Sean Allen and Luke Farrant.

“We tell our offensive line, ‘don’t quit,’ and they did a great job,” Angelastro said. “They opened holes, and when they didn’t, we just put our heads down and kept going. We’re all smash-mouth guys. We try to get as many yards as we can.”

The Vikings were smash-mouth on defense, too, with three fumble recoveries and two interceptions. The biggest turnover came in the third quarter when CSH, on its first possession after halftime, drove 15 plays in 9:50 to the Seaford 6. But Allen recovered a botched handoff.

Cold Spring Harbor had kept the ball for nearly the entire third quarter, and when the Seahawks came up empty, it filled up the confidence tanks of the Vikings, who were content to run the ball and the clock in the fourth quarter.

“Everybody got together in the huddle and said if we stop them right here, it’s our game,” said Angelastro, a starting defensive back. “Once we stopped them, I knew their enthusiasm would be drained and it was our game.”

It was time for a little postgame weightlifting.

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