Port Washington Vikings (2-0) Slay Friends Academy Quakers (1-1) 32 to 26 in Double Overtime
September 24, 2013Paul D Schreiber High School
The Vikings made very few “friends” in Locust Valley as they bested the Friends Academy Quakers in a nail-biting double overtime game which left Port Washington on top 32-26 and tied for first place in Nassau Conference V at (2-0). It was a grueling contest which left both sides exhausted and to the best of this writer’s information may have been the only double overtime contest in Viking history. The win was both pivotal and crucial in that the Quakers were expected to be one of the Vikings toughest matchups this season. For the Vikings, the game was a test of steel willed determination, resolve and teamwork.
The Quakers struck first midway through the first quarter with a long drive resulting in 7 points. The ball changed hands twice and then at the end of the first quarter Mike Gennusa exploded with a 44 yard TD run followed by a Matt Siegel PAT to tie the game 7-7. But by halftime the Vikings would be trailing 14-7 after a 5 yard Quaker TD reception.
In the third quarter, Friends Academy got the ball but on their first possession the Port Washington defense came alive led by a big 9 yard sack by Jermaine Brown (the second in the season for him) which lead to a failed 4th and 19 conversion and a turnover on downs. The Quaker and Viking defenses stopped their adversaries once each but then the Viking Offense broke the stalemate.
Toward the end of the third quarter, the Vikings started a 14 play 86 yard drive sparked by Senior co-captain RB Mike Gennusa and RB Angel Reyes. The drive was culminated with an 8 yard Gennusa TD and another Matt Siegel PAT which tied the game 14 all in the fourth quarter. But the Quakers came back with a long pass capped by a 2 yard TD run to take the lead again, but, on the PAT Senior Chris Seifert made a key play bursting up the middle to block the extra point limiting the Quakers’ scoring to 6 and making the score 14-20.
The Vikings responded again mounting a 16 play 94 yard drive on the ground led by Gennusa, Reyes and Senior co-captain QB James Burns who returned to the lineup this week after an injury which sidelined him in game 1. Gennusa capped the drive with a 13 yard run for his third TD of the day to tie the score 20-20. But Friends blocked the PAT and the Vikings could not take the lead which would eventually push the game into overtime. The Quakers got the ball back late in the fourth quarter but were unable to score after Manny Salvatierra sacked the Friends QB in the final drive. The game went in to overtime one play later.
High school football overtime consists of alternating possession(s) for each team starting at the opposing team’s 20 yard line and playing until each team has a possession. Once one team scores a greater number of points on their possession and the other team has also had an equal number of possessions a winner is declared i.e., if an offense scores the other team gets a possession and has the chance to match or beat the score; if they do not match or beat a score and have had an equal number of possessions, the game is over and a winner is declared. Overtime continues until a winner is declared.
Friends won the overtime coin toss and got the ball first and scored a touchdown, but on the ensuing PAT decided to go for 2 and Port Washington stopped the conversion by tackling the Friends’ RB on the 1 yard line. On Port Washington’s possession, Angel Reyes kept Port Washington alive by making a key 4th and 1 first down which rallied the team. Port Washington scored when Mike Gennusa added his fourth TD of the day with a 6 yard run. Port Washington then had the chance to win the game again but failed to make the PAT attempt. With the game tied 26-26 a second overtime “inning” ensued but this time the Port Washington defense held the Quakers to only 4 yards on the ground. Friends attempted a 33 yard field goal but failed to convert. Inspired by the excellent defensive play the Port Washington offense took control of the game. After a holding penalty pushing the Vikings back to the 30, Mike Gennusa exploded for another 25 yard gain taking the ball to the 5. On the next play, QB James Burns faked to Gennusa and took the ball off tackle 6 yards for the game winning TD. An elated Port Washington team swamped Burns in the end zone and celebrated the close victory and a great team effort.
On the ground for the day, RB Mike Gennusa had 32 carries for 211 yards with 4 TDs; RB Angel Reyes had 9 carries for 49 Yards; and QB James Burns had 6 carries for 42 yards with 1 TD (and was 8/18 for another 60 Yards in the air ). For his outstanding play, Mike Gennusa was honored as one of Newsday’s “Gridiron Greats” for the week (one of the top 10 players on Long Island) and was also named the Port Washington iHigh.com player of the week.
As for the team, Port Washington’s win increased the team’s winning streak to 7 including last year. Viking football wins have not gone unnoticed. This year alone on MaxPreps.com the team’s National Ranking has risen 1,544 slots to 11,322; the state ranking has risen 99 slots to 429; and the teams in Section 8 has risen to 25th out of 58; remarkable accomplishments for a team which went 0-8 for 2011 and 2010 and a testament to the accomplishments of head coach Jamel Ramsay, and his assistant coaching staff as well as the commitment and hard work of the team. While the final outcome of the season has yet to be determined, one thing is for certain, this is a team which has shown tremendous character which has set and is well on its way to realizing lofty expectations.