Vikings Coach Ken Kreuscher is known to pull an occasional surprise in a football game. Last Saturday he dug deep into his bag of tricks for the game against Westbury. First, he inserted junior linebacker Frank Zaccherio into the backfield. Secondly, he switched to the I formation and as a further surprise Port started out with an unexpected passing attack early in the game. The three moves combined had a major impact on the outcome of the game. After an opening drive stalled deep in Westbury territory, Port scored on their next two possessions. Ricky Brown, on a reverse play, connected with sophomore end Larry Zaccherio on a 28 yard touchdown pass. And soon after Jason Ham raced 29 yards from scrimmage for the second score. George Dembala booted two successful PAT's to give Port a 14-0 lead at halftime.
A defensive lapse by the Vikings at the start of the second half resulted in Westbury scoring two quick touchdowns. within a three minute span. Trailing 15-14, the Vikings regained composure and came right back to regain the lead when Frank Zaccherio capped-off a drive with a 22 yard run for a touchdown. Dembala added the extra point to put Port ahead 21-15. Westbury mounted one last drive in the fourth quarter that would take them deep into Port territory, however Port's defense tightened and the threat was stopped.
This weekend, Port travels to play fourth-seed Carey HS (2-1). Port will be slight underdogs in a crucial game for both sides. Carey can put points on the board in a hurry with a strong running attack led by all-county Andy Okalski and Sal Monastero. The Vikings defensive unit will have their hands full with this pair of runners. Against a common opponent Garden City, Port lost 34-0, Carey lost 44-13. Don't miss this one. Maybe coach Kreuscher has another surprise!!
Against Westbury Ham returned the kick-off 30 yards to the Port 45. On the first play QB Aaron Shkuda hit Ham for a 26 yard pass, but the drive was stopped after reaching the Westbury 27. Hard defensive play by Zaccherio, Chris Morea, Mike Hooper and Anthony Germani helped stop Westbury. Port regained possession when Germani recovered a Westbury fumble at mid-field. Port's first scoring drive featured a 10 yard run by Ham, a 12 yard pass completion by Tom Love and a 23 yard scoring pass from Ricky Brown to Larry Zaccherio. Port's next scoring drive covered 60 yards on seven plays. A Shkuda to Charlie Perry pass completion was the key play prior to Ham's 29 yard touchdown run. Dembala's two successful PAT's gave Port a 14-0 lead at half-time.
Before the fans had a chance to settle into their seats after half-time Westbury's Jermaine Addison returned the kick-off 90 yards to the Port 5. Westbury scored on the next play. They added an additional two points with a PAT run. When Port's series produced little yardage, Spencer Bodner punted. Westbury's Wardell Thomas received the ball on his own 40 and raced 60 yards for a touchdown. A PAT kick was good and Westbury led 15-14. Port's big break came moments later when Chris Morea recovered a Westbury fumble on Westbury's 32 yard line. Wasting no time, Frank Zaccherio first raced for a first down, then bulled and weaved his way for a 22 yard touchdown run. Dembala's PAT kick helped Port regain the lead 21-15. In the fourth quarter Westbury mounted a prolong drive of 13 running plays that took them from their own 15 to Port's 35. Port's defense finally stopped the drive when Westbury failed on a fourth and four. Unofficially Shkuda completed 4 of 7 passes for 52 yards. Brown completed one pass for a 22 yard TD. Ham gained 164 total yards and Frank Zaccherio 35 yards on 6 carries.