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It's Good! Mercy Football Wins for First Time Since 2008

Varsity vs Mercy HS on 9/24/2010
Posted Friday, November 26, 2010 by Riverhead Patch

It's Good! Mercy Football Wins for First Time Since 2008

Monarchs win overtime battle, 26-20, after 11 straight losses.

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Even a power shortage couldn't dim the lights on Bishop McGann-Mercy football on Friday night.

In an overtime win that included a delay due to a circuit breaker blowout and nearly a quarter of football played on one side of the field as a result, the Monarchs (1-2) earned their first win in 11 games, defeating Wyandanch (1-2), 26-20, in overtime. Friday's win was the Monarchs' first win following 11 straight losses, a losing streak dating back to the 2008 playoffs. 

Mercy head coach Joe Read could only describe the 26-20 win with one word: "Awesome!"

In a game that lasted over 3 hours and 15 minutes, the Wyandanch Warriors committed 16 penalties and lost 6 fumbles to the Monarchs. Leaving the field, the team argued amongst each other about some players not attending practice.

Wyandanch head coach Fitz McKinnon gave no excuses for his team's undisciplined play.  "They thought Mercy was going to come out here and be flat," McKinnon said.  "When they didn't, when they matched our intensity from the first half, we couldn't match it back…hopefully they show up for practice and we can go over this game film."

The win was senior D.J. Willmott's first win as an active member of the varsity squad. "It's really great to have worked so hard and see what you worked for happen," the wide receiver/cornerback said.

The victory did not come easily for the Monarchs though.

The Warriors took the early lead, running through the Mercy defense.  The Warrior opening drive culminated in a 19 yard run by quarterback Marcus Gay, giving Wyandanch the early 6-0 lead.  After a couple more Warrior scores and a Robert Terry touchdown for Mercy, Wyandanch went into the locker room leading 20-6 at half.

In previous weeks, the Mercy coaching staff acknowledged the team's lackluster performance, particularly in the second half.  But this week, the Monarchs showed no sign of slowing down. 

"We got down," Read said, "But we never gave up…. it takes a lot of heart and guts to come back like these kids did tonight."

On the first Warrior offensive play of the second half the Monarchs jumped out of the gate.  Wyandanch fumbled the ball twice on one play, and Willmott scooped it up for the Monarchs. Minutes later, he caught a pass down the left side from quarterback Keith Schroeher for the Monarchs first score of the second half.  A converted two-point conversion put Mercy down, 20-14.

The next drive saw the Warriors struggle to move the ball, which happened often in the second half.  A botched punt and three penalties in one play started Mercy on the Wyandanch 9-yard line.  Three straight runs by Schroeher tied game at 20-20 with 6:08 to go in the third quarter. 

The remainder of the half saw a complete lack of ball movement from either team. 

In overtime, Mercy marched straight into the end zone, only to have the touchdown called back on a holding call.  But again, the Monarchs did not give up. Mercy scored again as Terry rushed for his second touchdown of the night, giving Mercy a 26-20 lead.

Forced to score or lose the game Wyandanch took over. Haunted by penalties all night, a personal foul call brought the Warriors back to the 32-yard line. A 31-yard run on the ensuing play negated the penalty plus some. But a loss for yards and fumble on the final play of the game spelled the Warriors' fate.

As soon as the recovered ball was secured, the Monarchs stormed the field, celebrating the long-awaited win. 

"This is a huge confidence boost for us," Willmott said after the game.  

Next Friday at 7, Mercy will test its newfound confidence against rival Greenport.

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