With a hurricane bearing down on Long Island, the Plainview Hawks knocked the wind out of Hempstead early on, then put the Tigers away in a 31-12 home victory Saturday.
The Hawks made an impressive showing on both sides of the ball Saturday to finish 4-4 on the regular season, their best record since 2007. Plainview JFK now heads to the first round of the Nassau Div. I playoffs, traveling to first-seeded Farmingdale on Friday night.
Plainview was clearly fired up on the sidelines for this home finale, played before several hundred fans at the high school. The defense delivered punishing blows and forced the Hempstead offense to sputter early on.
Then, Plainview opened the scoring when quarterback Alec Abramowitz rolled out and flipped a 6-yard pass to Steven Napoli late in the first quarter.
Hempstead got the ball back and was forced to punt, but Plainview's line swarmed in on an errant snap and the Hawks found themselves with first and goal on the Hempstead 10.
Nick Laiosa pounded it in from the 1 to make it 14-0.
Plainview's defense, which again seemed to baffle the Hempstead offense, held again. That allowed running back Danny Brennan to break a 22-yard touchdown run late in the second quarter to give Plainview a 21-0 lead. Brennan had 14 carries and 117 yards on the day.
His backfield running mate, Ryan Schenck, had 26 carries for 167 yards. Schenck slipped numerous tacklers and scored on a 45-yard run to ice the victory for Plainview late in the fourth quarter.
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Abramowitz was cool under fire, leading Plainview's steady offense on the field and completing 3 of 3 passes for 28 yards, including the touchdown pass to Napoli.
Brent Epler was perfect, 4 for 4 on extra point tries and hit a 25-yard field goal in the fourth quarter.
Defensive standouts included Max Friedman, with 10 tackles and a sack and Laiosa with 5 tackles 3 sacks.
Sophmore Brian Cameron, playing in his first-ever varsity football game after being moved up last week from the JV, had 5 tackles and a sack.
Plainview finished 4 and 4 for the first time since 2007 and will travel to the number-one seed Farmingdale, for the quarterfinals of the Nassau County Conference 1 playoffs Friday. The Dalers defeated Massapequa Saturday; Farmingdale defeated Plainview earlier this season, but the Hawks hung with Farmingdale for three quarters of that game at Farmingdale.
Once again, the football team wore pink socks in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month. The Cheerleaders were also adorned in pink ribbons.
With special thanks to Chris Montgomery for his excellent game photos.