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Manhasset Football Season Opener A Washout

Joe Capobianco and the Golden Tornado of Lawrence picked up where they left off in the 2012 season in which they won the Long Island Class III title. They defeated the Manhasset Indians 51-6 in the season opener. Capobianco completed 7-of-8 passes for 195 yards, four passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown. The officials called the game at halftime due to inclement weather.

“They’re returning five or six All-County players,” said Head Coach Henry Simpkins. “We have a young team, and the speed of the game wasn’t effective for us,” he added.

The reigning LI champs worked with incredible precision and a rapid pace. They got off to a lightning quick start after the Indians went three-and-out on their first drive. The Golden Tornado drove right down the field and Capobianco scored on a five-yard rushing touchdown. They opted to attempt for the two-point conversion, and were successful in doing so.

On the ensuing possession, the Indians made a costly mistake on a botched snap which was recovered by Lawrence. Working with a short field, Capobianco connected with his receiver for an 18-yard gain. On first-and-goal, 6’1” 245 lb Simon Jones pounded the ball into the end zone for a touchdown. They completed the two-point conversion again to increase their lead to 16-0.

The Indians appeared to have a great opportunity after a 38-yard reception by James Farrell which put them in Lawrence’s territory. The drive, however, was stalled after an incomplete pass and two rushing attempts which gained zero yards.

The Golden Tornado capitalized on great field position with a two-play drive that began with a 16-yard gain on a quarterback sneak, followed with a 34-yard touchdown reception by Jordan Fredericks. The play was incredibly well-designed and advanced for a high school quarterback, but Capobianco has the type of ability to do so. The score was now 23-0.

In desperate need of a score, the Indians offense came to life on the next drive. They put together a nine-play drive, which covered 68 yards. The big play came on a beautifully thrown 42-yard pass from Tommy Duran to Alex Gray. The extra point was no good, and the score was now 23-6.

Unfortunately for the Indians, that was as close as they would get. On the second play of their next drive, Capobianco threw a quick screen pass at the line of scrimmage to Elijah Jones, who took it 60 yards for the touchdown.

The Indians then turned the ball over again on a fumble, which resulted in a 35-yard rushing touchdown by Fredericks.  

It was not the way Manhasset wanted to start off the season, but Head Coach Simpkins understands this is not the type of opponent they will face every week and there is still time to adjust.

“We’ve started off rough the last four years,” he said. “It’s good to see a team like this early, because now we know what we need to work on. I still see us in the playoff hunt.”

They will head to Sewanhaka on September 21 for their next game as they hope to avoid a 0-2 start.