A little rusty in its season-opening victory, Carey’s passing game was practically unstoppable last Saturday as senior quarterback Dominic Rutigliano and a talented supporting cast led a 49-27 road win over Nassau Conference II rival Elmont.
Rutigliano completed 24 of 40 attempts for 332 yards, hooked up with three different receivers for touchdowns and rushed for a score as the Seahawks (2-0) avenged last year’s Week 2 loss to the Spartans on the same field. Senior Barry Moore and junior Nick Giacalone found the end zone three times and twice, respectively. Elmont (1-1), which committed three crucial turnovers, got three rushing touchdowns from senior Michael Djalo and 112 receiving yards from senior Chester Anderson.
“We missed some opportunities in the passing game last week, but that certainly wasn’t the case today,” Carey head coach Mike Stanley said. “Rutigliano prepared hard all week and stepped up to the plate. He was accurate and confident against a very good opponent, and our receivers did a nice job getting open.”
The Seahawks held a 20-13 halftime lead thanks to junior Devin Hartz recovering an Elmont fumble near the goal line with less than 10 seconds remaining in the second quarter. Then, midway through the third, they extended it when junior Rich Mejia caught a short toss in the flat on third-and-9 from midfield and raced the distance for a touchdown. Junior Riley DeMeo’s extra point made it 27-13.
“Falling behind by two scores against a team like Carey creates a big mountain to climb,” Elmont head coach Jay Hegi said. “The way the first half ended and second half started was a big factor. We simply didn’t play well and struggled with fundamentals.”
The Spartans were back within a score at 27-19 with 5:54 remaining in the third when a dazzling juggling catch by junior Jaiyetoro Gordon-Younge in front of the visiting sideline for 35 yards set up Djalo’s 32-yard touchdown scamper on the next play.
Carey responded, however, with Moore taking a direct snap from senior center Vic DeNicola and scoring on a 3-yard run on the final play of the quarter. Two key receptions by Giacalone, one for 18 yards and the other 32, created the red zone opportunity. “Nick got banged up in the first quarter and we weren’t sure he’d get back in the game,” Stanley said of Giacalone, who had nine receptions for 144 yards. “He showed a lot of courage and had an incredible second half.”
Giacalone iced the victory in the fourth quarter after Djalo’s 4-yard touchdown run cut the margin to 34-27. Rutigliano froze Elmont’s secondary with a pump fake and hit Giacalone in stride for a 48-yard score to make it 41-27. Then, Giacalone made a return trip to the end zone 28 seconds later with a 55-yard pick-6.
“The offense was huge today, but also played pretty good defensively,” Stanley said.
Junior Andre Blanc had two sacks and junior Andrew Scarpinito added an interception for Carey, which travels to Calhoun this Saturday. Elmont hits the road to take on Valley Stream Central.