The South Side Cyclones took advantage of some early opportunities and rode the legs of their two top weapons to continue their hot start on the gridiron.
Junior William Pickett rushed for 218 yards and three touchdowns and junior Nick LiCalzi ran for two more scores as the Cyclones cruised to a 35-13 win at Valley Stream North last Saturday Saturday.
South Side (4-1 in Nassau Conference III) has won back-to-back games since its only loss to Plainedge on Sept. 21 and are averaging just over 27 points a game.
“It was a great team effort,” head coach Phil Onesto said. “We played a pretty solid game all around.”
Joe Gisonda booted two field goals and fellow junior Timothy Hutchinson had the only touchdown for Valley Stream North (1-4), which has lost four in a row since its season-opening win at Lynbrook. Hutchinson has rushed for over 100 yards in each of the team’s first five games.
“We made some mistakes and South Side made a lot fewer mistakes and capitalized on those,” Spartans head coach Tom Schiavo. “All the credit goes to them.”
The Cyclones received the ball first and immediately had an impact play when Pickett completed a 35-yard pass to Brian Albertsen. South Side also converted a third-down later in the drive on a pass to fullback Greg Lethbridge, which set up Pickett’s 11-yard touchdown scamper moments later.
On the ensuing kickoff, Cyclones senior Sean Jones caused a fumble and it was recovered by Licalzi around the Spartans’ 27. South Side moved the ball to the 2 before Licalzi punched it in for a 14-0 advantage with just under five minutes gone in the game.
“We always tell the kids that every year, special teams are going to win and lose two games for us,” Schiavo said. “[On Saturday], special teams buried us.”
Gisonda kicked his first field goal early in the second quarter to cut the deficit to 11, but the Cyclones answered quickly on their next drive and pushed their lead to 21-3 on Pickett’s 14-yard touchdown run. Pickett also keyed the Cyclones’ touchdown on the final drive of the first half, completing a 40-yard sideline pass to junior Ezavier Brewster before capping the set with an 11-yard run in which he broke a tackle in the backfield and four more upfield before finding the end zone.
“It was a big score for us,” Onesto said.
Valley Stream North tried to make it a game in the third quarter on Hutchinson’s 32-yard touchdown run and Gisonda’s 44-yard field goal that made it 28-13. Licalzi had the lone score in the fourth quarter on a 23-yard run.
The Cyclones will try to defeat Glen Cove for the second time this season during South Side’s Homecoming festivities this Saturday. South Side beat the Big Red 35-14 on Sept. 15.
“We’re going to have to throw a few wrinkles, compared to what we did last time,” Onesto said. “It’s going to be a tough game.”
Valley Stream North has a difficult assignment this Saturday at Lawrence.