Patience is a virtue? Well, good luck saying that to a locker room full of high school soccer players chomping at the bit to hit the grill.
But that’s exactly what Moore’s Catholic coach Nick Giannatasio has been tasked with in each of the first two weeks of the season.
The Mavericks had been thwarted twice in previous attempts to open their football season due to Covid-19, but they finally hit the pitch on Saturday in Huguenot and came out with a 28-20 victory over St. Joseph- by-the-Sea (1 -2).
Previously, Monsignor Farrell (September 4) and Western Wayne, Pa. (September 11) canceled scheduled competitions against Moore due to Covid-19 outbreaks.
Nonetheless, the Mavericks’ much anticipated fall season, filled with championship aspirations, has started off with a bang. Moore stormed the South Shore, opening a 14-0 lead – scoring points on two of the team’s top three possessions.
The Vikings, however, stood on their feet – rallying to come close 14-12 in the second half before MC finally pulled away in the end.
Moore, chosen by some as black horse AAA pretender, flashed a bit of everything in the victory. Powerful attack and solid line play from both sides of the ball are likely to put the rest of the league on guard, but sloppy play and poor execution leave more to be desired – likely expected of a team playing their first game in the third week of the season.
“It was really hard. Our kids were really disappointed, ”Giannatasio said of the wait to play. “They haven’t lost their focus in training. They continued to grind. Some of the issues we would have fixed in the first couple of weeks we had to fix today on the fly.
“I had a nightmare the other day that game was called off because of Covid too,” he joked. “It was really difficult for us and this [game] was awesome because he laid out all the things we need to work on.
The Mavericks functioned like a modern varsity attack, regularly using pass-option games to slash the Vikings’ defense for big yards. When throwing, the junior quarterback John Michalski (6 for 11, 119 yards, 1 touchdown) looked at receiver # 1 Nicholas Jordan (4 receptions, 86 yards, 1 TD). The pair connected on a 62-yard scoreline, which started out as a simple three-yard flat throw before Jordan lit the burners and sprinted across the sideline.
“[Jordan] is so good at playing games and finding space, ”Michalski said of his main receiving threat. “When I give him the ball, something good is going to happen.
“The last two weeks have been tough, we really wanted to play,” Jordan said. “It was a very long summer … I told myself that I was marking [on that play] and it happened. We have a great connection.
When Michalski chose to put the ball back in the hands of the ball carrier Check Dowan, the junior bulldozer delivered – rushing 12 times for 76 yards and 2 touchdowns. Coachman, who tallied the game’s first and last scores and scored a sack to the linebacker, landed the punishing blow in the form of a 33-yard flurry across the line, which saw him break and slip away. several tackles before crossing the goal line to cement the victory.
“Just keep moving forward, keeping my cushion level low and keep going,” Coachman said of his tough run. “I didn’t see much, but we missed two games, we will improve. We kept pushing and going hard in training.
“It feels good, really good [to be out there],” he added.
Michalski has run many tough runs himself – racking up 58 yards and one scoring in just six carries. Five of his six attempts totaled more than 10 yards.
“John is a very bright child, very cerebral. We give him a lot of leeway on offense to do readings on the fly and he does a really good job with our pass-running options set, ”noted Giannatasio. “He also helped us a lot with his legs. He got favorable reads and good numbers and made the right decision pretty much every time. “
PLAY NOTES: Matt Wissman (Mer): 4-for-7 for 51 passing yards; 14 races for 42 yards, 2 TDs.
Devin Malvasio (Mer): 11 races for 46 yards.
Jack Moran (Mer): 1 range, 59 touchdown yards
Rich Runfola (Sea): 1 bag
Shane Delacy (MC): 4 extra points