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Tom McAndrew totals 319 yards, three TDs to lead MacArthur victory

MacArthur's Tom McAndrew rushes for a gain during

MacArthur's Tom McAndrew rushes for a gain during the second quarter of a Nassau County varsity football Conference II quarterfinal vs. Long Beach. (Nov. 8, 2013) Credit: James Escher

MacArthur's Tom McAndrew simply supersized his game Friday night.

The senior, listed on MacArthur's roster as a wide receiver, had just 239 rushing yards on 43 carries for the entire regular season.

But while lining up mostly out of the backfield in Friday night's Nassau II quarterfinal at Long Beach, he more than doubled that total by the 2:43 mark in the third quarter.

McAndrew rushed for 319 yards on 27 carries with three touchdowns as No. 5 MacArthur beat No. 4 Long Beach, 28-21.

MacArthur (5-4) will play a semifinal game at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Hofstra.

"He carried the ball sporadically this year but we gave it to him tonight and it's phenomenal," MacArthur coach Bobby Fehrenbach said. "Last night, I happened to scroll through Newsday and looked up every 300-yard ballcarrier, and I never would have thought we'd have one this year, especially him. He's a wide receiver, not a running back, but he showed he can run the ball tonight."

Said McAndrew: "I knew I was going to get a few carries but not this much . . . My offensive line created huge holes for me all night."

The game came down to the final possession, as Long Beach (5-4) had forced a turnover on downs at midfield with 2:28 left, trailing 28-21. After driving the ball to the MacArthur 10-yard line, the Marines faced fourth-and-1 with 10 seconds left.

Long Beach quarterback Liam Rafferty scrambled to his right, and appeared to have a receiver open in the end zone. That was until MacArthur sophomore Jared Wolfe stepped in and swatted the ball down to seal the victory.

On the previous play, Wolfe had allowed Long Beach receiver Matthew Varian to catch a 9-yard pass on second-and-10 that brought the Marines down to the MacArthur 10.

"I saw the D-line made him scramble and I saw my man trying to get open, so I just stayed with my man," Wolfe said of the final play. "This is my first year on varsity, so it felt amazing . . . I had to come back from that play. I can't let my team down."

McAndrew ran for 215 yards and three TDs on 13 carries in the first half, helping put MacArthur ahead 21-0 in the second quarter. Chris Parler ran for 180 yards on 25 carries with two TDs for Long Beach, scoring twice in the second quarter to make it 21-14 at halftime. Jimmy Kelleher's 3-yard TD made it 28-14 after three. Parler also returned a McAndrew fumble 44 yards for a TD with 6:04 left in the fourth.

"Tom is a great player," Wolfe said. "That's what he deserves, a breakout game like this at this time."

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