A couple of weeks off did nothing to slow down the Seahawks.
Junior quarterback Ray Catapano was a perfect 7-for-7 passing for 206 yards and three touchdowns to lead No.4 Carey to a convincing 35-13 win over No. 5 Long Beach in a Nassau Conference II playoff opener last Saturday.
The Seahawks advanced to the semifinals where they will meet No. 1 Garden City at Hofstra on Saturday at 1 p.m. The Trojans knocked off Carey 28-20 when the teams met during the regular season.
As is often the case, special teams played a big factor. After going three-and-out on their first drive, the Marines attempted to punt, but an errant snap gave the Seahawks the ball deep in Long Beach territory. Two plays later, sophomore Mike De Leo ran it in from seven yards out.
Later in the quarter, Carey (7-2) was faced with fourth-and-three from its own 46. Sophomore Conor Colasurdo took a direct snap on a fake punt and went 54 yards for the score. Dylan DeMeo, who was 5-for-5 on extra points, made the score 14-0 with 4:40 to play in the opening quarter.
Carey head coach Mike Stanley was concerned with how the special teams would perform. “With our practice time being limited, we really didn’t get a lot of time to practice with special teams,” Stanley said. “When we watched film on Long Beach, we saw that the way they lined up might give us an opportunity to fake a punt in a short-yardage situation. With Colasurdo running, we knew there was the probability that we’d get some positive yards. Special teams definitely played a factor.”
The Seahawks scored again the next time they touched the ball. After a Long Beach punt gave Carey the ball at its own 30-yard line, Catapano dropped back to pass and connected with a wide open Matt Robison down the middle. The junior receiver ran the final 40 yards to give the Seahawks a commanding 21-0 lead.
An interception by Robison at midfield led to another Carey score late in the opening half. After a nifty 33-yard scamper by De Leo, Catapano found DeMeo open in the end zone to send the Seahawks into the locker room with a 28-0 lead. Catapano hooked up with Robison in the third quarter from 13 yards out to cap off Carey’s scoring.
Carey was exceptional on the defensive side. Senior linebacker Tom Dente had three sacks and sophomore John Heyer had two as the defense pressured Long Beach quarterback Adam Salvadori all afternoon. The Marines finished at 5-4.
Stanley was proud of the support his team gave to Long Beach. “Those kids have been through so much after the storm, and suffered so much loss,” he said. “I’m very proud of the team and the entire community for all that was done for Long Beach. Everyone stepped up to try to make things a little better for people in need. It was all done with a lot of class.”