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Led by Danny Hughes, Shoreham-Wading River one win from perfection

Shoreham-Wading River's Danny Hughes breaks several tackles and

Shoreham-Wading River's Danny Hughes breaks several tackles and goes 67 yards for the TD during the Suffolk IV football final on Saturday, Nov. 22 at Stony Brook. Credit: George A. Faella

Another game, another goal.

Shoreham-Wading River (11-0) achieved a big one Saturday by winning its first county football championship. Now comes the ultimate challenge, the Long Island Class IV title game next Sunday against Roosevelt (11-0).

Winning was important, of course, but SWR's Danny Hughes ran with a dual purpose in the 47-10 victory over Glenn.

The 6-5, 210-pound quarterback gained 301 yards on 22 carries and scored six touchdownsbefore a crowd of more than 2,000 at Stony Brook University's LaValle Stadium.

Hughes also passed for 100 yards in a balanced attack that scored on eight of its first nine possessions.

"He refused to be tackled and wasn't going to let this opportunity get away from us,'' coach Matt Millheiser said. "He played with so much heart, as did all of our guys.''

Hughes and the Wildcats were focused on winning the county title, but the memory of Tom Cutinella also was a driving force.

"We had this opportunity to reach some of the goals that Tommy had," Millheiser said of Cutinella, who died Oct. 1 after a collision with a Glenn player, "and one of those was to win a county championship."

Hughes was unstoppable. He rushed for four first-half touchdowns and added two early in the fourth quarter before exiting the game with the starting offense to a standing ovation.

"I wanted to win this game more than anything and I played with a real sense of purpose,'' said Hughes, who rushed for 188 yards in the first half as the Wildcats built a 30-10 lead. "I gave it all I had for our community and for my friend Tom. I played for them and I played for him.''

Hughes drove the Wildcats 52 yards in seven plays and made it 7-0 on a 1-yard run with 8:00 left in the first quarter.

"He set the tone,'' said sophomore defensive end Ethan Wiederkehr, who had seven tackles, including two for a loss. "We were getting a good push and he was flying through some big holes.''

Hughes' second touchdown was spectacular. On second-and-20, Hughes scrambled around right end, where he was met by two defenders on the sideline at the Shoreham 30. Instead of going out of bounds, Hughes slammed into the tacklers, broke free and ran across the field against the grain toward daylight. He dodged another tackler and ran over a defensive back before sprinting away for a 76-yard score and a 20-10 lead.

Hughes' third touchdown was a show of power. He ran through the right side of the line and slammed into the second level, where the smaller Glenn defenders tried to slow his momentum. Hughes bulled them the final 9 yards into the end zone to make it 30-10.

"He was the best player on the field,'' Glenn coach Dave Shanahan said. "We're happy for the Shoreham-Wading River community and for their program. They played a great football game.''

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