The Colts have had a rough season at home this year.
The Colts had lost all three of their previous home games, including their homecoming game, which was a big letdown to the team and Hills West Students.
Their game against Rocky Point was another important day for the Colts; it was their Senior day, meaning a large crowd and lots of fanfare for the team’s seniors. The field and stands were decorated with posters of all of the senior football players and cheerleaders, which, along with shoutouts from Mr. Mataratona, all served to increase the hype for the game.
Senior lineman Ethan Han stated that the senior day energy was a huge motivational boost for the team, and the team wanted to do anything they could to get the victory on Senior Day, “Since it was senior day, the team wanted to send off the seniors on a win for their last home game of the season. Everyone was determined to form that into a reality and worked hard all week to see it happen.”
Junior Matt Dunninger also commented on how the attitude towards this game was more intense than any other. He said that the Colts were expecting a win and would do anything in their power to ensure that would be the case.
The Eagles quickly got into the red zone early in the first quarter, seemingly asserting themselves as the dominant team early in the game.
But a poor throw from Rocky Point led to an interception by Junior Dillon Aery, shifting the momentum towards the Colts.
The game would remain scoreless during the remainder of the first quarter, but the Colts demonstrated they wouldn’t be pushed around.
The second quarter started off hot for the Colts, with a one-yard rushing touchdown from Junior Jalyn Jacques, followed by a successful two-point conversion via a connection between Freshman Quarterback Joseph Filardi and Junior Ryan Bonocore. The Colts were now winning 8-0
The Colts were able to hold off the Rocky Point offense and got the ball back once again.
Jacques broke through the Rocky Point defense with a tremendous 36-yard rushing play with an impressive stiff arm that helped set up the red zone offense, leading to a four-yard rushing touchdown by Junior Zachary Vasconcellos late in the second quarter.
After the second half had ended, it was clear to the Colts players that they were the dominant team in this football game, with Senior Juan Rodriguez remarking that this was the point in the game when he did not doubt that the Colts would win, “I had a lot of confidence that we would win when we kept them at 0 points for the first half.”
The Colts came back from halftime looking as fired-up and energized as ever, exemplified by a 20-yard dime-piece from Filardi to Aery, putting the Colts in the red zone. This was followed by a Filardi rushing touchdown and a successful two-point conversion, putting their lead at an impressive 22-0.
The Colts wasted no time once they got back on defense, with Junior Ryan Bonacore recovering a fumble at the Rocky Point 25-yard line, potentially giving them another scoring opportunity.
Even though they weren’t able to score on that drive, the Colts again showed their defensive tenacity on their next defensive drive via a diving deflection by Vasconcellos, which Aery scooped up for a pick-six. Which, along with a two-point conversion off of a rush by Jacques, gave the Colts an impressive 30-0 lead.
The third quarter also featured one of the most exciting plays for the Colts when Junior Adil Osmani intercepted a pass from Rocky Point. According to Juan, this play was special because this is a rare opportunity for Osmani since he does not usually play the linebacker position, “There were a lot of exciting plays, but I’d say the one that hyped the team up the most was when Adil got an interception, he’s usually on the defensive line, and was moved to linebacker for that one play.”
In the fourth quarter, the Colts put a cap on the game with an incredible 52-yard rushing touchdown by Vascenllos. The score was followed by a successful two-point conversion by Junior Luca Pipia, culminating in a 38-0 victory for the Colts.
This victory was special for the Colts for several reasons. It was their first victory at home this season and the first time they had shut out another team. The fact that they were able to bring home the W in front of the large senior day crowd was a big morale boost to the team and a great endcap to all of the festivities for the seniors before the game.
Coach Filardi was pleased with the win and expressed his gratitude toward the seniors for the years of hard work. “Coach Filardi gave a speech about what an honor it was to have coached alongside the senior players. He expressed his gratitude and appreciation for our contributions during the season. After the game, he was more than happy with the win and congratulated the seniors on their final home game blowout win.”
Han also said how the team is looking forward to a potential playoff run, and playing out the rest of their senior football season, even if there is only a small amount left, “As we expect to have a few games left, I hope the team can fight just as hard as they have so far, and give it all they got to push through to the playoffs. The season was short-lived but really showed us what it meant to be brothers-in-arms. I hope that these bonds we have we never fade and that we can cherish these memories going forward.”
A few players shined this game across both sides of the ball.
Despite being just a freshman, quarterback Joseph Filardi showed excellent passing ability, ball IQ, scrambling ability, and rushing talent. He will be a player to watch amongst all Suffolk quarterbacks in the years to come.
Zach Vasconcellos rushed for two touchdowns, including an incredible 52-yard play. Jalyn Jacques also racked up an impressive resume, with 119 rushing yards and a touchdown.
Dillon Aery showed his talent on both sides of the ball, catching key passes that would help set up touchdowns, as well as a two-point conversion. But it was Aery’s two interceptions, including a pick-six, that exemplified his abilities.
After what looked like a bleak season for the Colts, this victory breathed some life back into the squad, which will give some tremendous motivation and energy for the upcoming playoffs.