After a pair of dominant performances in home playoff wins, the Xavier Arline Show went on the road to Stony Brook for the Suffolk IV championship game.
Arline accounted for all four of Shoreham-Wading River’s touchdowns in its 28-21 win over Mount Sinai Friday night at LaValle Stadium. The quarterback ran for a pair of touchdowns, including the go-ahead score with 7:49 left in the third quarter, threw a touchdown pass and returned a kickoff 83 yards for another score.
“I did my job, everyone else did their job and this is what you get when that happens,” said Arline, who ran for 134 yards on 28 carries to bring his Long Island-leading rushing yardage total to 2,202.
He now has 725 yards and nine touchdowns on 55 carries in three postseason games.
Arline was emphatic after the game about what has led to all this success: “The offensive line is the best in the county, period, end of story. All credit goes to them and the players around me.”
While strong blocking has certainly helped, Arline’s vision and athleticism were on display again. He opened the scoring on a 54-yard rush that capped Shoreham’s first possession and after Mount Sinai tied the score, he found a crossing Johnny Schwarz with a pin-point pass that Schwarz took for a 71-yard touchdown.
Mount Sinai threatened to take control of the game after scoring a pair of touchdowns to go ahead 21-14 with 1:09 left in the first half. It was also set to receive the second-half kickoff.
Arline had other plans.
He put an end to Mount Sinai’s run in an instant as he returned the ensuing kickoff 83 yards to tie it up. He put the Wildcats ahead on their first drive of the second half with a 4-yard TD run, and while both defenses took over from there, Arline’s early offensive explosion was enough to see Shoreham through.
The big return was the real game-changer.
“The kickoff rolled to me, I picked it up and didn’t know where to go at first,” Arline said. “I was trying to find some space and I saw the outside was open so I just turned on the burners.”