North Shore reached the end zone four times in the first quarter last Saturday on the way to remaining undefeated on the season with a convincing 42-20 victory over Lawrence on Homecoming.
Senior running back Philip La Rosa did a wealth of damage on only nine carries with 133 yards and five touchdowns, giving him 15 scores in five games. Junior quarterback Dan Quigley opened the scoring with a 63-yard touchdown run and also cracked the century mark in the win, totaling 117 yards on six attempts, as the Vikings (5-0) stayed atop Nassau Conference IV. The Golden Tornadoes, who scored all of their points in the second half, slipped to 1-4.
“We’ve had our share of adversity, but how the kids have handled it says a lot about where we’re at as a team,” North Shore head coach Dan Agovino said. “We’re playing physical football and we’re balanced. We know there’s still a lot of work to do. I’m not sure how the playoffs will shake out, but the four teams in will all be tough.”
The Vikings would go a long way to securing the top seed if they can complete a perfect regular season by knocking off Locust Valley this Saturday. Defending county champion Seaford, perennial contender Wantagh and Cold Spring Harbor are also in the mix. North Shore’s last county championship came in 1977.
Anyone the Vikings face will have to contain La Rosa, who is putting up All-County offensive numbers while also leading a stellar group of linebackers which includes fellow seniors Lorenzo Recine and Oliver Palone, and junior Andrew Noak. La Rosa’s two fourth-quarter touchdowns lifted North Shore to a come-from-behind 26-14 win at Cold Spring Harbor on April 3.
Quigley, a southpaw who’s a big piece of the ground attack, has juniors David Berlin and William Feldmann and senior Aiden Mandell as passing targets. Agovino is hopeful Mandell, also a starting defensive end, can return from injury in time for the playoffs.
The offensive line returned only one starter — Recine at right tackle. The unit has jelled nicely, Agovino said, with sophomore Reece Ramos at right guard, junior Nick Capranella at center, senior Daniel Romano at left guard, and sophomore Pat Godfrey at left tackle. Ramos and Romano also start on the defensive front along with senior Tayler Smith.
“Talking about winning a championship isn’t taboo,” Agovino said. “We’ve brought it up as a long-term goal while staying focused on our weekly goals.”