West Hempstead's varsity football team pulled off a major upset Saturday night, when it defeated Seaford High School, ending the Viking's 44 game-winning streak against Nassau County opponents.
Heading into its homecoming football game on Sept. 17, Seaford had not lost to a Nassau County team since Nov. 18, 2006 when the Vikings dropped the Conference IV championship to Roosevelt, 20-7. Seaford's only three losses since 2007 coming into Saturday came in the Long Island Class IV title games in 2007, 2008 and 2010.
The West Hempstead Rams scored 22 straight points in the second half en route to the 28-20 upset victory. West Hempstead is in its first season competing in Conference IV after joining the league this year due to declining enrollment.
Moments after Seaford’s first Nassau County Conference IV loss in almost five years, longtime Vikings head football coach Rob Perpall said the more than four-year streak never got the attention it deserved. “This has to be the greatest 44-game winning streak in America that people don't know anything about," Perpall said.
A major reason for West Hempstead (2-0) putting an end to Seaford’s longtime Nassau County Conference IV dominance was junior running back Tayvon Hall, who rushed for 122 yards including several key first downs in the second half when the Rams scored 22 straight points after trailing 14-6 at halftime. Hall’s five-yard score with 6:13 left in the fourth quarter broke a 14-14 tie. On that same drive, Hall hauled in a big catch at the seven-yard line to set up the ultimate winning score.
"He’s a special, special player,” West Hempstead football head coach Dom Carre said. “You need a play, you give him the ball.”
Hall also made a key play in the third quarter after quarterback Bruno Devito executed a quarterback sneak for a Ram touchdown cutting the Seaford lead to 14-12, the 5-foot-7, 155-pound running back caught a two-point conversion to knot the score at 14-14.
"We came ready to play," Hall said. "We had a great week of practice."
Seaford did not let its 44-game county winning streak end without a fight. After West Hempstead appeared to put the game out of reach on Devito’s second quarterback sneak touchdown of the evening with 2:47 remaining, Viking quarterback Chris Trotta connected with Kyle Kolodinsky on a 78-yard scoring strike 18 seconds later that cut the deficit to 28-20. After forcing a West Hempstead punt following an unsuccessful onside kick, Trotta fired three bombs near the end zone in the game's final seconds with the final one picked off by West Hempstead’s Danny Sheeler, ending any hope of extending the Nassau County winning streak to 45.
“This [win] definitely send a message that we are a team to be reckoned with in this conference,” Hall said.
After Seaford took a 6-0 lead on a Nick Fischeti touchdown plunge, Justin Boatwright answered for West Hempstead with a 52-yard scoring run with 1:36 left in the first quarter. Seaford took a 14-6 lead in the second quarter on a trick play as Trotta tossed to wide receiver Tyler O'Donnell behind the line of scrimmage who then threw to a wide open Fischeti in front of the right corner of the end zone.
Seaford will look to begin a new Nassau County winning streak when it travels to Locust Valley on Saturday for a 1:30 p.m. kickoff. West Hempstead will look to improve to 3-0 when it hosts Cold Spring Harbor Saturday starting at 1:30 p.m.