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Friday, Nov. 21, 2014: Sayville, Syosset win football title games

   Leading off today: Sayville senior Matt Selts gained 154 of his 206 yards after halftime to carry Sayville to a 28-21 win over Islip for the Suffolk III football championship Thursday.

   "He came in at halftime and said, 'Coach, give me the ball,' " coach Rob Hoss told MSG Varsity.

   Hoss recorded 27 second-half carries, scoring a pair of touchdowns. His 1-yard dive with 30 seconds remaining gave Sayville (11-0) its record 12th Suffolk championship.

   Islip had tied at 21 with 2:42 to play when Will Killeen threw a 66-yard touchdown pass to Raphael Alomar. The two hooked up for a 54-yard score earlier.

   The Bucs also scored on Michael St. Lewis' 83-yard kickoff return in the second quarter one play after Sayville QB Jack Coan's 97-yard TD pass play with Kevin Murphy.

   Coan tied former Lawrence quarterback Joe Capobianco's Long Island-record with his 38th touchdown pass of the season on the play to Murphy, and No. 39 came on a 5-yard pass to Ryan Kelly with 3:04 left in the first quarter for a 14-7 lead.

   Coan also surpassed Capobianco's single-season yardage mark. He went 17 of 32 for 309 yards for a season total of 3,116 yards.

   "To be honest," Hoss said, "it was such a dogfight, there was no chance to enjoy the records."

   Nassau I final: Syosset wide receiver Ian Berg scored the winning TD with 3:19 left to lead sixth-seeded Syosset to a 26-20 win over top-seeded Baldwin.

   Syosset last won county titles in 1973 and 1974.

   "Forty years is a long time," Berg told MSG Varsity. "There were a lot of guys who came through here. We did it for the guys who put on the jersey before us. We were able to get the job done and rally around these guys on the field with us today."

   Berg made seven catches for 106 yards, including a 16-yard TD to tie the score midway through the second quarter. He was essential to the Braves' winning drive, set up by an onside kick recovered by Ryan Donley with 4:56 left in the fourth quarter.

   Will Hogan, a transfer from Reno, Nev., connected with Berg for 14 yards, Michael Elardo for 7 and then Alex Concannon for 19. Then Berg rushed 13 yards to the 2-yard line before scoring what proved to be the winning 2-yard TD.

   Hogan was 21-of-41 for 287 yards and two touchdowns and also ran for 41 yards and a TD. Elardo, a 5-foot-6 senior made eight receptions for 111 yards, breaking the Long Island record for receiving yards in a season. He also led the Braves with seven tackles.

   Elardo's 111 yards gave him 1,343 yards for the season. Commack's Bryan Tornee had set the Long Island record with 1,269 yards in 2000. Bruce Williams of Syracuse CBA set the state record of 1,546 yards in 2004.

   "It's a great achievement with everything going on here," Elardo said. "My team believes in me. It's an amazing thing. I have a great connection with (Hogan). We just clicked."

   Corning appointment: Pete Graham was appointed coach of the Corning baseball team during Wednesday's school board meeting, making the New Jersey native only the second coach in program history. John Knapp coached for three decades before retiring in October.

   "John set the tone, he's not only a mentor to me, but a friend," Graham told The Leader. "I'm going to take that baton and run with it."


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  •    Graham started teaching at Corning in 2009 and served as the last coach of the Corning East softball team. In Corning's first season as a combined program, he was the JV coach before serving as assistant varsity coach last season.

       Persona non grata: In an intriguing development out of Vermont, St. Johnsbury Academy football coach Rich Alercio is no longer welcome at BFA-St. Albans.

       BFA Athletic Director Dan Marlow passed that decision along to St. Johnsbury and the Vermont Interscholastic Football League following the teams' weather-delayed contest that was completed Oct. 11 in St. Albans.

       The Caledonian-Record in St. Johnsbury reported Marlow made a request with the VIFL and St. Johnsbury to not have the two schools scheduled against each other as long as Alercio is coaching.

       The began Sept. 5 in St. Albans was halted by a storm with the Hilltoppers leading 28-3 late in the third quarter. The game was resumed over a month later and SJA finished with a 42-9 victory.

       While not divulging to the paper what Alercio said or did, Marlow said the coach's actions were inappropriate and disrespectful. The decision to ban him was supported by the administration, Marlow said.

       "This isn't about bashing anybody, but we felt strongly because of what occurred, particularly in the return visit, that caused us to make this decision," Marlow told the Burlington Free Press. "This isn't a common thing to do and we felt our backs were up against the wall and we had to make a statement and this is what we decided to do."

       David McGinn, SJA's AD, said he's hoping to resolve the issue. According to Marlow, Alercio sent a letter of apology and McGinn also spoke to Marlow.

       In 2012, as a youth baseball coach, Alercio got into a physical altercation with an umpire after a game at Northwood Park in Rutland Town, the Free Press reported. Alercio was barred from the park for the remainder of the season by the town Select Board, according to a June 2012 story published in the Rutland Herald.

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