Tyler DeMeo had done seemingly everything for Carey, catching three touchdowns and running for two more. Still, he felt he had more to do, especially after he missed an extra point back in the first quarter of Saturday’s Nassau II football game against Mepham.
“I knew I had to make up for that,” DeMeo said. “Then we missed a couple of two-point conversions, so it was on me.”
As the Seahawks senior — who plays wide receiver, quarterback and running back on Wildcat offensive sets, cornerback, kick and punt returner, and placekicker — lined up for a 27-yard field goal with 2:01 remaining, he had one thought: “I need this for us to win.”
DeMeo split the uprights with 1:57 left, and visiting Carey held off a late threat to defeat Mepham, 36-33. The 5-8, 150-pounder had 11 catches for 197 yards, and added 62 yards rushing and five total touchdowns. He accounted for 34 of his team’s 36 points, and was on the field for every play but one for Carey (4-2).
“We’ve had great players come through our program, and right now, Tyler is up there with all of them because of his competitiveness,” Carey coach Mike Stanley said. “I don’t know if we’ve had anyone better. We ask him to do so much for us.”
There was still more to do late, thanks to scrappy Mepham (4-2) which drove to the Carey 26 with 14 seconds remaining. Mepham quarterback Michael Proios ran to the 9-yard line with four seconds left. But Mepham was flagged for holding, and was pushed back to the Carey 35. Proios’ pass near the Carey 5 was knocked down by 5-8 defensive back Dominic Scorcia as time expired.
“We were on the good end of a close call,” said Stanley of the late holding penalty. “We’ve been on the wrong end, too.”
Mepham coach Anthony Cracco, who was hoping to kick a field goal after Proios’ scramble, did not want to comment about the late flag.
“We had a good opportunity to get to five wins, but we didn’t make it happen,” Cracco said. “You have to tip your cap to Carey.”
And especially DeMeo, who scored on direct-snap runs of 17 and 20 yards to give Carey an early 13-0 lead. He later added a 14-yard touchdown catch as Carey trailed 21-19 at the half. DeMeo hauled in scoring catches of 34 and 68 yards, the latter which put Carey ahead, 33-27, with 7:09 left.
Mepham’s Proios — who was 17 of 23 passing for 245 yards, and added 95 yards rushing and a score — found Jeremy Lissade with a 65-yard touchdown pass, but the extra point sailed right as the score was tied at 33 with 6:59 remaining. Carey marched 60 yards on 14 plays and gave DeMeo a chance to make amends.
“It was a tremendous game that went back and forth,” DeMeo said. “To come away with a win — there’s nothing better.”
And nothing else to do.