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Vinnie Ammirato

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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.


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By Bill Landon

The Mount Sinai Mustangs made short work of visiting East Hampton-Bridgehampton on the football field Saturday afternoon, shutting out the Bonackers, 33-0, in a victory that was icing on the cake for the host team’s homecoming celebration.

It was a lopsided game after Mount Sinai scored its fourth unanswered touchdown, and rather than kick the extra point, the Mustangs took a knee to arrest the scoring fest at 27-0.

Mount Sinai head coach Vinnie Ammirato rested his starters and flushed his bench, as every available player on his 35-man roster saw action the rest of the way.

On their first possession of the game, the opposing team was forced to punt on three and out.

With the game less than two minutes old, Mount Sinai senior running back Christian Knab fielded the ball then found a hole, bounced to the outside and went the distance for the score. With the extra point, the Mustangs took the early 7-0 lead.

“We played our hardest — everyone played their best,” Knab said. “We came out and we did what we’re supposed to do.”

The Bonackers, fielding just 18 players and losing two to injury during the game, used every available player on their bench out of necessity. Again, unable to move the chains, the opposing team was forced to punt.

Mount Sinai senior wide receiver Griffin McGrath went 64 yards for the next touchdown, and after another East Hampton-Bridgehampton three and out, junior wide receiver Jake Knab fielded a clean ball and took it all the way down the stretch for the team’s third touchdown.

“I caught the ball and there was a good wall set up [in front of me so] I followed the wall,” McGrath said. “And it was clear all the way to the end zone.”

Jake Knab took over at quarterback for junior R.J. Maher the rest of the way.

“This game was unusual — first string starters usually come out and sometimes second string goes in,” Knab said. “Today was a fun game for me because I rarely play.”

Early in the second quarter, Mount Sinai junior running back John Paolella plowed up the middle to find the end zone for another six points.

“We played well all around and second teamers got their chance today,” Paolella said. “It was a chance to play at homecoming and we made the most of it.”

As the kicking team took to the field for the point-after attempt, Ammirato barked the play from the sideline, and the Mustangs lined up as if they were going for two, but took a knee to keep the score 27-0.

“We don’t want to score anymore,” Ammirato said from the sideline. “Let’s keep the score reasonable.”

The Mustangs non-starters couldn’t control themselves, and freshman running back Liam McGrath, who was brought up from the junior varsity squad to play in the game, was not to be stopped as he raced with the ball down the left sideline for the final touchdown of the afternoon. Choosing not to attempt the point after, Mount Sinai again took a knee to hold the score at 33-0.

With the win, the Mustangs improve to 6-1, vying for second place in League IV with John Glenn. The Mustangs will battle John Glenn on the gridiron Saturday in the last game of the regular season, to break the tie.

“Everyone is going to work their hardest and put in the extra work in practice,” Christian Knab said, for his Mustangs team to be able to top John Glenn. “And we’ll have to see what happens on Halloween.”

Ammirato said that the best part of the homecoming win is that everyone on his bench saw action.

“Just getting everyone in the game — I love when that happens,” the head coach said. “These kids come to practice every day and work just as hard sometimes they get in the game sometimes they don’t, and today they got a chance to play some quality minutes at homecoming in front of a big crowd; getting their names announced.”

Ammirato said that because the junior varsity game was cancelled, it presented an even bigger opportunity, bringing up some sophomores and freshman that saw some action, too.

Griffin McGrath is ready to see his team claim the No. 2 spot.

“We’ll have to work hard in practice this week and watch film,” he said. “And we’ll have to execute the coaches’ game plan to the letter.”