Whenever MacArthur needed to convert a tough, short-yardage situation everyone knew the Generals were going to run it — behind left tackle Sean Tierney — and that often included the defense.
“When we really had to get those big yards we would always run it behind him,” MacArthur coach Bobby Fehrenbach said. “Everybody knew it but they still couldn’t stop it.”
A three-year starter on both lines, Tierney helped spearhead a dominating rushing attack that led MacArthur to the Nassau II title game. For his efforts he was named the Martone Award winner as the county’s top lineman at the 54th Gridiron Banquet presented by the Nassau County High School Football Coaches Association in Woodbury on Wednesday night. Neil Levantini of Farmingdale and Freeport’s Myles Norris were the other finalists.
The 6-1, 255-pound Tierney embraced the physical side of being an offensive lineman.
“Run blocking is fun, you get those pancakes,” said Tierney, laughing. “It makes the game fun to lay somebody out. When you see him [the running back] breaking down the field, it makes you want to do that again and again.”
Tierney started at guard his sophomore season and showed off his athleticism getting out and pulling on run plays before developing into a mauling tackle that pushes back the line of scrimmage and helps protect the quarterback as well as anybody.
“He’s so athletic for a kid his size,” Fehrenbach said. “He’s able to come off the line and get to linebackers so well and he was also a punter and a kicker for us.”
But Tierney was more than just a physical blocker. He was also cerebral, according to Fehrenbach.
“He studies film,” Fehrenbach said. “He’s the kind of kid who gets it after you tell him once.”
Tierney grew into one of the key veterans along both lines.
“You have to know all the plays and know what everyone else is going to do,” Tierney said. “It was hard to do and took a lot of focus to learn a new position but it worked out.”
It worked out so well that Tierney was a Martone award nominee as a junior before winning this year. And to those that watched him it was as obvious a choice as MacArthur running backs had when choosing which lanes to run through after Tierney demolished defensive lines.
“There was a handful of times he fork lifted kids up and drove them back,” Fehrenbach said. “He had a presence on the outside and could collapse the whole side of the line.”