In a hard-fought, grind-it-out game that was not decided until the very last play, the 10/11-year old Seaford Bronco White football team gutted out a 19-12 victory over the West Babylon Eagles to move on to the next round of the Nassau Suffolk Football League Pony Division playoffs.
The Broncos (6-4) fell behind on the last play of the 1st quarter on a 55 yard broken play. In true Seaford, smash-mouthed football fashion, the Broncos quickly got themselves back in the game. On 3rd-and -5, Tyler Volpi took a handoff from Tyler Kirincic, broke through an arm tackle, and bolted 55 yards for the tying touchdown. Nick Calandra blasted up the middle for the extra point and the Broncos were on top 7-6.
West Babylon (5-5) found it difficult to move the ball all day long, especially in the second quarter as the Bronco defense held the Eagles to 19 total yards and one first down. With just under four minutes to play in the half, the Broncos were facing a 4th-and-6 from their own 35 yard line. Instead of punting, Tyler Kirincic ran an option play and gained 26 yards for a first down.
On the very next play after the dramatic fourth down conversion, Tyler Volpi found some running room following a stupendous block by Zach Grof and scampered for his second touchdown of the day. Heading into halftime, the Broncos held a 13-6 lead.
Both teams played the entire second half in a “bend-but-don’t-break” defense as both offenses found their rhythm, only to be stopped after lengthy drives, deep in the opponents side of the field. Late in the third quarter, Seaford’s Dominic Beltrani found some running room down the sideline and a beautiful cutback to the middle of the field left nothing but green grass and the endzone in front of him before he was tackled at the five-yard line. Three plays later, Nick Calandra broke a tackle in the backfield and thumped his way into the endzone for the 19-6 lead entering the 4th quarter.
West Babylon would not go quietly nor would it take too long as five plays later and on another broken play, the Eagles were back within a touchdown at 19-12 with eight minutes to go in the game. Both defenses came up big and alternating four-down possessions.
With less than two minutes to play, West Babylon took over at their own 45 yard line, with no timeouts. Dylan Tashjian just missed an interception breaking up a long pass attempt. Three straight completions, two of which were inbounds, had the Eagles facing one last desperation pass from the 25-yard line with seven seconds to play. The pass in the endzone was broken up by Dominic Beltrani to seal the Broncos win.
After the game, the Bronco coaches, players and parents gathered real quickly in the end-zone where the coaches lauded the toughness of their players and told them to enjoy this hard-fought victory for a couple of days because come Tuesday’s practice, they needed to focus on their next game. After the game, assistant coach Ed Boll lauded the play of his safeties, Chris Zacharias, Jake Kistinger and Vincent D’Ambrosio, with providing superb run support. Head coach Steve Kirincic was most impressed with offensive and defensive line play.
West Babylon was intent on trying to stop the run and loaded 10 players on the line of scrimmage, but Matt Ryan, Ryan Butler, Sean Boll, Ryan Tyznar, Joe Falletta, Matt Corominas and Greg Schmitt did not allow a single blitzing player through the line of scrimmage. On the defensive line, Kyle Cunningham, Adam Castella, Justin Vandussen, Matt Andersen, Austin Pasco completely shut down any inside running game the Eagles thought they had and Jared DiSalvo played very well at defensive.
The Broncos’ next opponent is not yet known, but whoever it is, they will be ready.