A coach never knows exactly what to expect when his team takes the field for the first game of the season, but J. Taylor Finley Middle School eighth grade football mentor Ron Wilson had no reason to worry as the Falcons toppled visiting Riverhead, 56-0.
Led by team captains Torin Bograd (quarterback), Chad Rowe (receiver/linebacker), Liam Hassett (running back/linebacker), Nasir Youngblood (running back/safety), Kyle Green (lineman/kicker) and game captain was Alex Bellissimo (running back/linebacker), Finley has a deep and talented roster.
On the second play of the season from scrimmage, Bograd hooked up with Thomas Combs for a 42 yard reception, which set-up a 27 yard touchdown run by Jason Turner. Green’s kick sailed through the uprights to make it 8-0 and Finley was on its way. (On the middle school level a team receives two points for a successful kick following a touchdown while a run nets only a single point.)
Finley football-8 head coach Ron Wilson.
The Falcons’ defense was also up to the task at hand, smothering Riverhead’s offense on its first possession and forcing the Blue Waves to punt the ball. Youngblood bobbled the kick, managed to eventually get control of it and scoot 80 yards for Finley’s second touchdown. Another successful Green kicked followed and just like that it was 16-0.
Finley’s defense kept up its stellar play, which resulted in still another Riverhead punt. This time Youngblood caught it cleanly and raced 78 yards for still another touchdown. “It appeared as if they had him cornered and tackled on the sideline, but Youngblood kept his legs driving and broke through three tacklers for another score,” Wilson said.
With the defense forcing punt after punt, Finley’s offense lit up the scoreboard still again. Bograd connected with Rowe for a 67 yard touchdown strike. Green notched his third successful kick of the afternoon and the Falcons had themselves a 30-0 lead after one quarter.
Finley’s “white” team took the field for the second quarter and picked up where the “blue” team left off. On the “white” team’s first possession, Kyeon Lyons scored on a 32 yard run. Mekai Betts ran in the extra point to extend the Falcons’ lead. The Falcons continued playing well the rest of the afternoon.
“We dominated on both sides of the ball throughout the game,” said Wilson, who is assisted by James Byrnes, Jr. “Both the ‘blue’ and ‘white’ teams played a great game of football.”
The Falcons host West Hollow on Saturday (October 15) at 9 a.m.
Finley Notes: Bograd was two-for-two passing for 109 yards . . . Turner rushed three times for 82 yards . . . Belissimo had five carries for 86 yards . . . Hassett rushed three times for 60 yards . . . Finley’s ground game accumulated 329 yards on 23 carries . . . Hassett recorded five tackles, including one for a loss . . . Butts had four tackles, including two for a loss and also a quarterback sack . . . Trevan Meagher and Green both had three tackles . . . The Falcons made 33 solo tackles, including six for a loss . . . Finley’s defense deflected two passes.