ESM Football Stuns Sayville In Overtime Victory

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Sayville is one of the more storied football programs in Suffolk County, having won the past three Division III championships. Before this season, Eastport South Manor had not beaten the Golden Flashes in its 10-year history, but that all changed on Saturday at Sayville.

After Cole Zeller broke two tackles and scored a 15-yard touchdown, Austin Macchi scored a two-point conversion, behind the blocking of right guard Joe Pesce, giving the Sharks a 35-34 overtime victory. ESM improved to 2-1 in Division III with 110 power points, while Sayville fell to 1-2 in the division, with 103.33 power points. It’s the second time this season ESM has upset a team, having defeated Amityville in the opening week of the season.

“I just think the program is maturing,” ESM head coach Paul Mastronardi said. “There has been great senior leadership from the kids who have been in the program now for three years. We’re reaping the benefits of the maturation process.”

Macchi scored on a 67-yard quarterback keeper play with 1:20 remaining in regulation. After Nijay Brown’s successful extra point, the game was tied at 27-27. Sayville had few chances to score in the waning seconds of regulation, thanks to sacks by Sharks Kenny Dunne and Pat Minogue.

ESM won the coin toss before overtime but opted to start on defense. Sayville quarterback Jack Coan scored on an 11-yard play to put the Golden Flashes ahead 34-27, but the Sharks made sure they had the last laugh on their game-winning drive.

ESM had three players rush for over 100 yards. Zeller finished with 138 yards on 18 carries and finished with two touchdowns. Macchi had 108 yards on the ground on seven carries and a touchdown, and Mike Bianco rushed for 102 yards on eight carries.

Bianco also had 12 tackles on defense while Mark Zaharis had nine tackles. The defensive line came up big for the Sharks as Dunne finished with six tackles and three sacks and Minogue had eight tackles and two sacks. Defensive tackle Reggie Gode had seven tackles with two for a loss.

ESM will have another tough test this weekend when it goes to Hauppauge to face the Eagles on Friday evening at 6 p.m. Mastronardi is continuing the theme of taking it one game at a time.

“Right now we’re watching Hauppauge film and working on getting ready for Hauppauge,” he said on Monday. “They’re a quality football team that runs the ball well, passes well. They’re a sound football team.

“In this [division], anybody can beat anybody,” he added. “There is no upper half and lower half to the division. Everybody is strong.”

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