Junior running back Brian Carroll ran for 111 yards on 16 carries and scored a pair of touchdowns to lead host Valley Stream North (1-1) to a 35-12 victory over East Rockaway on homecoming weekend. Senior captain Pat Brady had 11 tackles and two sacks to lead the Spartans on defense.
North led 14-12 at the half, but took the game over on the first drive of the second half. After senior Chris Case returned the kickoff to midfield, the Spartans needed just five plays to extend their lead. Carroll bulled his way in from three yards out, and then quarterback Joe Ruscillo called his own number for the two-point conversion to make it 22-12.
Head coach Tom Schiavo credited his team’s perseverance for its second half performance. “We had to get back to what we were doing well,” Schiavo said. “I told the guys at the half that we needed to regroup and refocus. We went from being up 14-0 to being up 14-12 just like that. We knew the importance of setting the tone on the first drive of the second half. The guys did a real good job.”
It didn’t take the Spartans long to get on the scoreboard. After East Rockaway (0-2) went three-and-out on the game’s opening drive, Ruscillo capped off a 54-yard drive by sneaking it in from a yard out. The extra point attempt sailed wide right.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Rocks failed to play the ball, and junior Pat McGreevey pounced on the loose ball at East Rockaway’s 25-yard line. On third-and-nine from the 14, Ruscillo rolled right and found senior Mike DiRico for the touchdown. Ruscillo ran in the conversion to give the Spartans a 14-0 lead with 6:21 remaining in the opening quarter.
Behind the hard running of Danny Fusco, and the passing of fellow sophomore Mike Del Gais, the Rocks got back in the game in the second quarter. East Rockaway found the end zone for the first time when Del Gais found senior Kevin Blessington open in the left corner of the end zone from three yards out. The two-point conversion attempt failed.