Threatening skies didn’t rain on Hewlett’s Homecoming parade last Saturday, but Plainedge’s tandem of running back Giancarlo Soriente and quarterback Nick Frenger made for a stormy afternoon.
Soriente rumbled for 211 yards and three touchdowns, while Frenger added 191 yards passing and 74 on the ground to lead the Red Devils to a 35-14 victory in a battle of undefeated Conference III teams. Frenger, who completed 12 of 15 attempts, threw for a score and ran for another. Senior quarterback Zach Richman scored both touchdowns for the Bulldogs, who were blanked in the second half.
“We’re a young team that still has work to do,” Hewlett coach Jay Iaquinta said. “Plainedge can run it and throw it, and made a lot of big plays. We knew they were going to be tough.”
Sharp in victories over Bethpage, Carle Place and North Shore, the Bulldogs (3-1) never led Plainedge (4-0) and picked the wrong time to commit their first turnover of 2012. Trailing 28-14 and faced with a fourth-and-goal at the 11-yard line when the teams changed sides for the fourth quarter, Richman completed a screen pass that appeared to surprise the Red Devils. But a hit by linebacker Brent Dillen jarred the ball loose and John Johnson recovered it in the end zone for a touchback.
“Would the result have been different if we scored there,”? Iaqunita said. “The way their offense was going, I’m not sure.”
Plainedge scored on each of its first three possessions and built a 21-7 lead early in the second quarter. It opened with a nine-play, 85-yard drive that culminated with a Frenger 43-yard touchdown pass to John Logan. Hewlett answered on its first offensive series, which covered 58 yards on six plays. Senior Weldon Irvine got the drive started with a 24-yard catch over the middle, and senior Drew Schweitzer gained 16 yards on a toss-left to set up Richman’s 7-yard touchdown run.
Fregner had 36 yards rushing and 14 passing on the ensuing possession, an eight-play, 68-yard scoring drive capped by Soriente’s 7-yard run to make it 13-7. The third series was a blur, spanning 74 yards on five plays. A 47-yard reception by Nick Cupolo set up Soriente’s 24-yard touchdown run.