Written by Shaun Ihasz Thursday, 31 October 2013 00:00
The USMMA football team faced something no other team in the history of NCAA Division III had before them; a three-week gap in between regular season games. The Mariners showed little signs of rust early, scoring the game’s first 20 points en route to a 26-14 victory over WPI on the road Saturday afternoon. Zachary Boucher (Wyckoff, NJ) rushed for 103 yards and a pair of touchdowns as the Mariners also earned their first Liberty League win of 2013.
Merchant Marine (4-1, 1-1 Liberty) got on the board first with a Boucher two-yard touchdown rumble at the 5:53 mark of the first quarter. The Mariners had faced a second and long at midfield early in the drive but an Engineers’ roughing the passer penalty extended the possession. The USMMA defense looked especially fresh, limiting the home team to just one first down in the opening quarter. Michael Biehn (The Woodlands, TX) paced the defense with nine tackles and one sack on the afternoon.
The Mariners extended its advantage just over one minute into the second quarter as Matthew McDaniels (Malverne, NY) found Matthew Berglund (North Kingstown, RI) for a 15-yard touchdown pass. McDaniels, who entered the game as one of the leading rushers in the NCAA, also did plenty of damage with his legs. The sophomore quarterback ran for 137 total yards, including a 78-yard touchdown sprint that made it 20-0 with 11:41 to play in the first half.
WPI (2-5, 1-3 Liberty) would immediately answer McDaniels’ score as Zach Grasis returned the ensuing kick-off 49 yards to put the Engineers deep in USMMA territory. It took seven more plays but Grasis eventually found his way into the end zone for a one-yard touchdown run that cut the Mariners edge to 20-7. That would be the score as the two sides headed into the intermission at Alumni Field.
The Engineers forced a Mariners three-and-out on the first possession of the second half and got the ball with good field position on their own 44 yard line. WPI then marched the 56 yards on nine plays in 3:21 to make it a one-score game at 20-14. The touchdown came on another one-yard rush, this time with Jacob Grills burrowing his way over the goal line.
WPI seemed to gain the momentum after another quick stop of the Mariners offense and quickly headed up the field for a potential go-ahead score. However, the USMMA defense came up with the play of the game on fourth-and-one at its own 24 yard line. Patrick Keyes (Parsippany, NJ) came up with a big hit to stop Grasis for no gain and turn the ball over on downs.
Merchant Marine widened the margin with a drive that started with 14:56 remaining in regulation. The Mariners would go on to use 5:54 on 11 plays as Boucher’s second touchdown, this time from one-yard out, moved the score to 26-14 after a failed two-point conversion. WPI had one last drive down the stretch but with just under two minutes left was forced to go for a fourth-and-three at the USMMA 15-yard line. This time it was Scott Cokeley (Ukiah, CA) who dropped the ball carrier short of the first-down marker, sealing the Mariners 26-14 triumph.
The Mariners held the Engineers to 0-for-5 on fourth down and just 5-for-18 (28 percent) on third down. Merchant Marine racked up 298 rushing yards and has won the time of possession battle in every game this season.
Saturday, 30 November 2013 00:00
The recent adoption the Common Core Learning Standards, a rigorous series of teacher and student assessment testing, and the potential sharing of confidential student information with third parties have resulted in a radical change in the educational landscape in New York State—one that many parents have been concerned about.
To address these growing concerns, the Great Neck School District’s United Parent Teacher Council recently hosted a question and answer session at South High School with New York State Regent Roger Tilles, a Great Neck resident who has been outspoken with both his support of content the Common Core and his disapproval in how the new set of learning standards have been implemented.
Friday, 29 November 2013 00:00
At a meeting last week, after almost four hours of back and forth between Clover Drive residents, the attorney representing builder Frank Lalazarian’s controversial Old Mill II project and members of the Village of Great Neck’s Planning Board, there was very little progress, no vote taken and far more questions than answers.
The subdivision plan, a project under discussion for the last five years and recently approved by the village’s Zoning Board of Appeals, calls for 11 houses to be built in the area behind the Old Mill Apartments, with sole access from Clover Drive. Complicating the builder’s efforts to gain approval to start building is the fact that one of the lots is within the boundaries of Great Neck Estates and will require that village’s approval also. Additionally, Lalazarian’s project must gain the approval of several Nassau County agencies, including its department of public works, department of health and planning commission.
Wednesday, 27 November 2013 15:23
The Bears team before a recent game at the Andrew Stergiopoulos Ice Rink with Coach Dan Marsella.
Thursday, 28 November 2013 00:00
Great Neck’s Ayal Hod is the proud coach of Great Neck’s winning Top Gun sixth grade team in the Island Garden Fall League. Hod puts together the team every season, mixing local youngsters from Great Neck and children son Dillon’s AAU Jamaica Queens team. The league is very competitive and challenging and it teaches the children many valuable lessons: “how to be great teammates by sharing the ball, how to compete hard on every possession and what you put in is what you get out.”
Hod says that the main challenge is for every child to bring their individual talent to the team and collectively they have something special. an ex-player, he says that “basketball was very good to me, it helped pay my college education and it paid my-bills for many years to come via several basketball commercials ... basketball also opened many doors for me and it helped me tremendously in my business career.”
Hod enjoys sharing his basketball journey background with his son and his friends and having them learn lessons too.