William Pickett has no shortage of options when it comes to beating defenders.
He can throw past them, run by them or simply run them over, and he did all those things Friday evening to lead South Side to a comeback victory.
Pickett was 12-for-15 passing for 173 yards and two scores and added 113 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries, including the winner from 5-yards with 10 seconds left to lead the Cyclones to a 27-24 win over visiting Wantagh in a Nassau III football game. South Side (5-0) also got a boost from Richie Petrone, who intercepted two passes, caught three passes for 73 yards and had a series of long kickoff returns.
“I like to run, but some people may think I’m not a thrower, but hopefully tonight I proved differently,” said the 6-1, 230 pound Pickett. “Our offense played amazing in all aspects of the game, with the receivers, running backs and offensive line all executing.”
He was nearly perfect on South Side’s 65-yard, 11-play go-ahead drive, and had a hand in every play of the possession. Pickett completed 4 of 5 passes for 42 yards and rushed for 38 yards on six attempts, including a 4-yard keeper on fourth-and-1 from the Wantagh 44.
“Very rarely do you get a player his size that can move the way he does and throw the way he does,” coach Phil Onesto said. “He makes everything happen for us.”
Despite Pickett’s playmaking, Wantagh (3-2) led 24-20 with 4:20 left after Nick Teresky ran in a score from 3 yards. Teresky joined Michael Lombardi and Tom Von Bargen to form a multifaceted rushing attack that moved the ball well Friday.
Teresky also scored a 12-yard touchdown early in the second quarter to tie the score at 7 and Wantagh threatened again in the closing moments of the period, before Petrone intercepted his second pass of the game in the end zone.
“I knew they were going deep, so I sat back and waited for the ball,” he said.
After the teams traded touchdowns in the third quarter (with South Side missing a PAT), Michael Coney hit a 43-yard field goal to extend Wantagh’s lead to 17-13.
South Side struck back almost immediately, as Pickett connected with Petrone for a 50-yard completion to bring the Cyclones to the 15-yard line, before Pickett ran for a 7-yard score two plays later.
“He opens up the whole offense,” Petrone said of Pickett. “It’s awesome to have a quarterback who can do everything.”