An opening day shutout on its home field electrified the J. Taylor Finley Middle School football team, which toppled Kings Park, 28-0.
Finley utilized an efficient offense, sharp open field running and a hard-hitting defense to stymy Kings Park’s game plans.
Led by head coach Jordan Ioviero and assistant coaches Patrick Reilly and Andrew White, dozens of Finley players contributed offensive and defensively to the victory.
“I am very proud of our team,” Ioviero said. “We preach paying attention to all of the little details and with limited practice time we were productive on all three sides of the ball. Everyone had an opportunity to play and we all took steps toward becoming a better football team.”
The game got off to a fast start with Finley on defense. Tommy Kline intercepted a pass on Kings Park’s first drive and returned the ball 40 yards. Finley went on to score on a 13 yard touchdown pass from Kline to Thomas Smith. Geovanny Castillo kicked the extra point to give the Blue Devils an 8-0 lead. (A successful kick on the middle school level is awarded two points.)
Smith scored again in the third quarter on a five yard touchdown run. Castillo again successfully converted the extra point as Finley extended its advantage to 16-0.
After Finley held Kings Park and forced the visitors to punt, the Blue Devils’ offense again clicked as Timmy McDonald ran 35 yards for the team’s third touchdown of the afternoon. Frank Algieri scored the final touchdown on a 25 yard touchdown run.
Finley’s two quarterbacks completed six-of-nine passes for 97 yards, with Kline connecting on one-of-two passes for 13 yards and Will Fallon completing five-of-seven throws for 84 yards.
Algieri caught three passes for 56 yards with Smith, Jacob Guzik (22 yards) and Nick Normoyle (six yards) each recording a reception.
Finley’s ground game was hard to stop with the Blue Devils rushing 22 times for 198 yards and three touchdowns. McDonald carried the ball five times for 90 yards. Algieri rushed five times for 57 yards. Smith (two rushes for 17 yards), Adrian White (three rushes for nine yards), Kashiem Sexton (two rushes for four yards), Guzik (one rush for 15 yards), Kevin London (one rush for one yard), Kline (one rush for two yards), Fallon (one rush for two yards) and Kusterbeck (one rush for one yard) also picked up rushing yardage during the game.
McDonald led Finley defensively with nine tackles. Nile Williams and White had four tackles each. Kline and Gavin Deegan both brought down three runners. Trystan Clark recorded a pair of tackles. Fallon, Smith, Normoyle, Guzik, Kusterbeck, London, Fergie Sierra Ortega and Joseph Boeckman all had one tackle each. Guzik forced a Kings Park fumble and Boeckman recovered a fumble.
Finley plays at Candlewood on Monday at 4 p.m.