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Home Sweet Homecoming

Not many events can create school spirit quite like homecoming. Farmingdale High School’s annual pep rally and homecoming football game took place on Friday, Oct. 22.

The pep rally featured performances from members of the marching band, the cheerleading team, the Dalerettes, and the Steppin’ Dalers. Each player of the football team was introduced to the capacity crowd. Principal Glen Zakian awarded each class for their homecoming floats.

The homecoming courts were also announced; Jamal Stewart was named king and Alexa Floresta was named queen. The rally was capped off by the Senior Dance, where the senior cheerleaders, the Dalerettes, and the Steppin’ Dalers came together for one performance.

The Syosset Braves (3-3) came to Farmingdale hoping to crash the party. Pre-season rankings had Farmingdale projected number one and Syosset ranked second. The Braves entered the game with momentum, having easily won their homecoming game against the Massapequa Chiefs the previous week. The Dalers had won its previous game in Baldwin, 33-6.

Farmingdale (4-2) hoped to take the energy of the pep rally and bring it onto the football field. Captain senior linebacker Carl Brescia led the team through the “Go Dalers” banner, and the game was ready to begin.

The Dalers got the ball first and, despite driving down to the Braves’ 15-yard line, missed a field goal that would have given them an early lead. Defense excelled in the first quarter, as the two teams then exchanged punts. However, Farmingdale’s offense began to show signs of life at the end of the quarter.

Quarterback Sal Tuttle and receiver Brian Prendergast connected for a 38 yard gain and set the Dalers up at Syosset’s 21-yard line. The first quarter ended in a scoreless tie.

Early in the second quarter, the Dalers faced a 4th and 16 and went for broke. The decision paid off, as Tuttle found Prendergast again for a big gain and took Farmingdale to the four-yard line.

Three minutes into the quarter, running back Kevin Wahl put the Dalers on the board with a one-yard TD run.

After the extra point, Farmingdale took a 7-0 lead. Syosset gave the ball right back to the Dalers, when Pat Starke intercepted a pass from Braves’ QB Alex Contino. Farmingdale could not capitalize and was forced to punt.

With a little less than three minutes left in the half, Tuttle threw a screen pass to Starke, who picked up blocks and ran 21 yards to extend the lead to 13-0. The Dalers got the ball right back, thanks to a diving interception by Vinny Schultz, and took over at its own 35-yard line.

Tuttle led his offense down the field and hit Starke with an eight-yard TD pass, with less than 10 seconds left in the half. The Dalers held a commanding 19-0 lead at halftime.

Farmingdale kicked off to Syosset to open the second half and forced another punt. Farmingdale added to the lead when Wahl took the snap and ran for his second one-yard TD of the game, his 16th TD of the season.

After the two-point conversion was successful, the Dalers led 27-0. Syosset turned the ball over again, as Schultz picked off another pass from Contino. Tuttle then rewarded Schultz with a screen pass that the receiver took 24 yards for another score. The score stood at 34-0 at the conclusion of the third quarter.

Syosset finally got on the board midway through the 4th quarter. Against the Dalers’ backup defense, Dan Ventricelli found Mohammed Kassamali on a fourth and goal for a TD. After missing the extra point, the Braves trailed 34-6.

Tuttle finished 17-25, 234 yards, three touchdowns. Wahl ran for 70 yards and a TD. Starke caught five receptions for 61 yards and two touchdowns. Prendergast and Schultz combined for eight catches and approximately 150 yards.

Farmingdale’s impressive victory over Syosset further strengthened the Dalers’ case as one of the top teams in Nassau County’s Conference I. They will up against Oceanside, Freeport and East Meadow for the top playoff seeds in the Conference. The Dalers will finish the regular season on Saturday, Oct. 30 against Massapequa.