West Hempstead rebounded from its first loss of the season in a big way, steamrolling to a 41-12 Conference IV victory over visiting Valley Stream North last Saturday behind an offense that found the end zone on each of its first five possessions.
A week after squandering a 10-point lead at Seaford, the Rams (4-1) orchestrated impressive scoring drives of 85, 65, 65, 55 and 75 yards and led 34-0 when the starters called it a day with four minutes gone in the third quarter. The backfield trio of senior Tayvon Hall and juniors Bruce Gibbs and Enrique McFarlane (team-high 131) combined for 339 yards on the ground and five touchdowns.
The Spartans (3-2), who totaled 79 points in consecutive victories to close September, welcomed starting quarterback Anthony Martelli back from injury but committed three turnovers and didnâ€™t score until the final minute of the third quarter when the senior signal-caller hooked up with James Capoziello on a 46-yard touchdown pass.
â€śTheyâ€™re tremendous up front and blew us off the ball,â€ť VSN head coach Tom Schiavo said. â€śWe just have to get back to work and get better. Weâ€™ve got another big game coming up against Clarke. Next week is Homecoming, and we have to avoid the distractions and play like we can.â€ť
A turnover on the gameâ€™s opening possession set the tone. An interception by junior Akil Philip gave West Hempstead the ball at its own 15-yard line. Hall, who finished with 128 yards and three touchdowns on eight carries, got the drive started with a 10-yard sweep and finished it with a 30-yard scoring dash along the visiting sideline. Senior kicker Jon Carlo Proiettiâ€™s first of five successful extra points made it 7-0.
After the Spartans failed to move the chains on the ensuing possession, the Rams struck quickly for a 14-0 lead. Hall busted a 47-yard run to set up a first-and-goal from the 10, and Gibbs (79 yards) scored from a yard out three plays later.
West Hempsteadâ€™s next two drives summed up the afternoon for both teams. Gibbs sprinted for a 20-yard touchdown on a fourth-and-15, and Hall followed with a 6-yard touchdown with nine seconds remaining in the half to make it 27-0. Senior quarterback Michael Petrizzo, who picked off two Martelli passes, also pounced on a rare Hall fumble to keep the final drive of the second quarter alive.
â€śItâ€™s a good win,â€ť Petrizzo said. â€śWe were upset and frustrated after Seaford, but we knew we had to put together a strong week of practice and get ready for another good team.â€ť
Valley Stream North will try to get back on track against Homecoming opponent Clarke (4-1) this Saturday at 1:30 p.m. The Spartans won three of four in the opening month, including a 37-7 rout of Malverne in Week 4. Senior running back Billy Patsos pounded out 251 yards and four touchdowns, and fill-in senior quarterback Frank Trotta completed all four of his pass attempts for 135 yards. Senior Joe White had two sacks.