Sofia LaSpina spent most of the week in the national spotlight after becoming the first female to catch a touchdown in Long Island high school football history.
On Saturday, she was content to play a smaller role in her team's dominant 63-30 victory over Glen Cove in front of a large home crowd, many of whom were there to cheer on LaSpina. She finished the game with one catch for five yards.
It was senior quarterback Nick Honerkamp who grabbed the headlines on this day with seven touchdowns -- five rushing and two passing -- in the Nassau Conference II game.
Mepham improved to 3-0 heading into next week’s conference showdown with undefeated MacArthur (3-0). Glen Cove lost its 20th straight game.
"You never think about stats and numbers," Honerkamp said. "You just go out and execute the offense and make the plays. They turned the ball over quite a few times and that set up some quick scores."
Honerkamp opened the scoring with a 40-yard run to cap a six-play, 60-yard drive on the Pirates first possession. Peter Mayo hit Gabe Terra with the two-point conversion pass for the 8-0 lead with 7:56 left in the first quarter.
Glen Cove would turn the ball over on its first five possessions. Junior Kevin Perry recovered the Big Red’s first fumble at the Mepham 35. Six plays later, Honerkamp found Michael Cucinella with a 31-yard touchdown pass for the 14-0 lead.
"He put it out in front of me, a great pass," said Cucinella, who caught two TD’s and had an interception. "We capitalized on their mistakes."
Defensive tackle Anthony DiSalvo recovered a Glen Cove fumble at the one to set up Honerkamp’s 1-yard scoring run and the 21-0 lead. Cucinella then intercepted on Glen Cove’s next play from scrimmage at the Mepham 37.
"Cucinella is our top receiver and our main cover corner," said Mepham assistant coach Pat Mancini. "He’s been the special teams’ player of the week the past two weeks. The kid does it all."
On the ensuing play, Honerkamp ripped off a 63-yard scoring run for the 28-0 lead with 23 seconds left in the first quarter. In a span of 7:34, the game had gotten completely away from the mistake-riddled Glen Cove offense as Mepham rolled a 28-0 lead.
"Our defense set up the offense and the offense played very well," Mepham coach Anthony Cracco said. "We had a short field on four or five possessions and punched it right in."
Honerkamp added 12 and 2-yard scoring runs in the second quarter. He finished the half with 135 yards rushing on eight carries and completed six of seven passes for 151 yards.
"Nick is a tremendous athlete and gets better and better every week," Cracco said. "He sees the whole field well and has command of the offense."
A bright spot for Glen Cove (0-3) came in the way of the hard running of halfback Anthony Schettino. He had a 4-yard scoring run in the second quarter and finished the game with 161 yards on 19 carries and two touchdowns.
The teams traded touchdowns in the third quarter highlighted by a Schettino 26-yard scoring run and Mepham’s Dom Novello returning a kickoff 82 yards for a touchdown.
LaSpina's catch came on the first play of the fourth quarter. Mayo threw her a five-yard out and as soon as LaSpina turned to run she was hit by Josh Pernett.
"I don’t know if it’s a boy or a girl, it’s someone that caught the ball and needs to be tackled," Pernett said. "It was a good catch and I hit her right away."
Earlier, LaSpina drew a personal foul on a Glen Cove player in the third quarter for unnecessary roughness.
"They were definitely hitting hard, and you have to expect that physicality," she said. "But we won and that’s all that matters."