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The Port Vikings drew a line on the gridiron, and the Mepham Pirates crossed it... again and again. Unfortunately for Schreiber's Varsity club, this particular line was the goal line. The Vikings, who looked to up their record to 3 and 0, were upended, tossed, turned and ultimately shackled, 40-7. After a closed first half, the Mepham Pirates operated on all cylinders in the second half, particularly in their power running game and on their special teams play. Given the home field advantage and an obstinate offensive line, the Pirates ended the Vikings chances at an undefeated season.

Mepham High School drew first blood with a fumble recovery inside Port territory on their opening drive of the game. The Pirates had a simple game plan: 1) Let the offensive line create the holes for a power-running attack. 2) Hand the ball over to their bull of a fullback, Mike Parsley. 3) Allow the special teams to push back Port's hope of establishing a field position. The first half witnessed a number of these elements including a 40-yard pass play to set up their opening eight-yard-run to make the score, 7-0 midway through the first quarter. Mepham's special teams rendered Port's kick returners, Larry Zaccherio and Michael Cosolito, ineffective as each of their kickoffs went deep into the end zone thereby preventing any momentum to be gained by the Port offense. Mepham mounted a stealthy pass rush which led to a Bodner interception, and on the subsequent series of downs, Port would find themselves down 14-0 at the beginning of the second quarter.

Port responded with multitude of sweep runs, shuttle passes and gadget plays that brought them back into the fray culminating with a one-yard touchdown smash by Jason Sussman through a tough goal line stand by Mepham. As the gun sounded to end the first half, Port seemed to be gaining a little confidence as they cut the Pirates' lead in half, 14-7. The second half began in shocking fashion as Port nearly pulled off a daring on sides kick that just eluded the hands of Al Farsidjani. This looked like the play that was going to turn the game around for the Vikings; rather it served to spark an already enthused Mepham squad.

The Pirates responded with 26 unanswered points in the second half, which included another barrel-type run from Parsley, a 70-yard touchdown return by Carp, and an 80-yard interception return for a touchdown by Brian Shea. The Vikings appeared stunned as they stood with hands on heads and glassy eyes looking for answers to this embarrassing loss. It was clearly Port's sloppiest and most uninspired performance of the season in terms of team focus and execution. Hopefully, their lack of cohesion, and desperate play calling will not permeate their next effort against Carey at home on Saturday, Oct. 7


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