Mt. Sinai races past Greenport in homecoming win
By Bill Landon
Mount Sinai’s Jason Shlonsky threw two touchdown passes and rushed for another on the way to the Mustangs’ 34-14 homecoming win over Greenport/Southold/Mattituck Oct. 15.
The win was never in question, as Mount Sinai jumped out to an early 21-0 lead with three unanswered touchdowns by the beginning of the second quarter.
From under center, senior quarterback Shlonsky rolled to his right and threw a strike to senior wide receiver Andrew Fiore, who caught the ball in stride and advanced to the Porter’s 10-yard line. On the next play, Shlonsky ran the ball into the end zone on a 3-yard keeper play for six points. Mount Sinai junior kicker Colin McCarthy made it 7-0 seven minutes in on his point-after attempt.
“They’re actually a very good team — they came out to a really good start,” Shlonsky said of Greenport. “But we had a lot of success throwing the ball. My line gave me time to throw the ball in space, and my receivers ran great routs and [Greenport] didn’t pick up on it. So it went the way we expected.”
The pair struck again when Shlonsky dropped back and connected with Fiore for a 41-yard strike two minutes later. With McCarthy’s kick, the Mustangs edged ahead 14-0.
“My line gave me time to throw the ball in space, and my receivers ran great routs and [Greenport] didn’t pick up on it.”
— Jason Shlonsky
Mount Sinai junior running back Joseph Pirreca took a handoff up the middle next, and although had trouble finding an opening, made something out of nothing when he bounced outside and turned on the jets as he rushed the ball 38 yards for a touchdown. McCarthy, who was perfect on the afternoon, made it a 21-point game.
With the cushion, Mount Sinai head coach Vinnie Ammirato pulled his starters and went deep into his bench to get the younger athletes some playing time.
“We have a lot of young kids — a lot of kids who didn’t get a chance to play last year — so I think for us nothing ever comes easy,” Ammirato said. “But as long as we keep working hard — keep getting better every week — [we’ll be OK]. We do start a freshman four sophomores, and we only start three seniors, so every week is a work in progress.”
Mount Sinai senior Jake Knab who is ordinarily a wide receiver and a defensive back, took over as the quarterback until the halftime break.
Just as effective running the ball as throwing it, Shlonsky returned to open the second half with a 50-yard kickoff return for a first-and-10 on the Porter’s 24-yard line. The Porter’s defense stood its ground through, and took over on downs.
Greenport began a march downfield on its next possession, and finally put six points on the scoreboard with 4:49 remaining in the third stanza, on a 52-yard touchdown pass down the right sideline. The Porters chose to go for a 2-point conversion, but the Mustangs’ defensive line had other ideas, and made the block.
On the ensuing kickoff, Mount Sinai senior running back Mike Carneiro raced away with a 50-yard return, and the Mustangs went back to work on the Porters’ 38-yard line.
The two-touchdown difference prompted Ammirato to reinstate his starters. With Shlonsky back under center, the quarterback threw the ball to junior tight end Jared Donnelly, who crossed over the middle and turned it up field — dashing 13 yards into the end zone. McCarthy followed by splitting the uprights for a 28-6 advantage.
“I knew we could come back and get the job done. We’ve got the right mindset and our team is strong enough to come out, fire back at them and score again.”
— Jared Donnelly
“I wasn’t too worried [after their second score],” Donnelly said of Greenport. “I knew we could come back and get the job done. We’ve got the right mindset and our team is strong enough to come out, fire back at them and score again.”
On the ensuing kickoff, it went from bad to worse for the Porters when the kickoff return man hit a brick wall named Christian Sartori. The senior defensive lineman ripped the ball loose, and his younger brother Andrew Sartori, a sophomore linebacker, recovered it to put the Mustangs in commanding field position.
Again, Ammirato recalled his starters and Knab went back to work for the final quarter.
Mount Sinai sophomore running back Richard Harris carried the ball 18 yards and across the goal line for the final Mustangs score of the afternoon. Mount Sinai took a knee following the touchdown, foregoing the extra point in the spirit of sportsmanship.
Greenport managed one final touchdown as the clock unwound.
Carneiro led the way for the Mustangs with eight carries for 121 yards, followed by Harris with 66 yards on 11 carries and Pirreca grounded out 60 yards in five attempts. Shlonsky finished the day with 121 yards through the air.
With the win, Mount Sinai improved to 3-3 in Division IV with three games remaining before the postseason begins.
“We had a very good week of practice — we knew what we were [getting] into coming into this game, we were very prepared; we played hard,” Fiore said. “We made a couple of mistakes that we’ll have to fix to be ready for next week, which is a very important game.”
Mount Sinai hits the road Oct. 21 to play neighboring Miller Place (4-2 in league play), where Ammirato will have to find a way to contain his son, and Panthers powerhouse running back Tyler Ammirato. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.