By Jerry Del Priore
When Flushing High School didn’t rehire teacher and football coach James Desantis, according to the former 13-year Red Devil boss, he took his vast gridiron experience to South Shore as one of its assistants, along with six of his players.
Friday afternoon, five of them — sophomore Jaquevious Sam, juniors Dangelio Dyce and Derek Webster, and seniors Raynito Celemente and Antonie Joseph — all scored touchdowns in the Vikings’ 57-0 blowout win over the Red Devils (0-7) at Flushing Memorial High School Field in PSAL City Conference action.
“We have some ex-Flushing players on the team. Five out of six got a chance to get into the end zone, so that was pretty cool,” South Shore head coach Matt Cirquera said. “It’s always fun when you get an opportunity to win big, and kind of get a couple of different guys in the end zone while getting some seniors, who don’t always get to play, on the field.”
For Desantis, he had mixed emotions: sad for his old program, who has been taking its lumps this year. But happy for being back at Memorial Field with his present team that has been winning this season.
However, he said that the Red Devils would right the ship in due course.
“It’s weird. I feel sad for these guys,” Desantis explained. “That was us about four years ago after we went to the semis. We had 27 kids, with 21 seniors. So, the next year, we were loaded with freshman. A couple of the freshman that were on that team, are here with me now. There are going to be okay. They just have to hang in.”
While the Laurelton, Queens, native brought over key pieces with him from Flushing, he said South Shore was a quality team without them.
“This is a good team, without my guys,” said Desantis, who’s now teaching at his Alma mater, Springfield Gardens. “This is a team that works hard and cares about each other. It was evident today when all the twos and threes got in there and were making plays. They were cheering for them (on the sidelines).”
Freshman running back Zuberi Mobley kicked off the festivities for the Vikings (7-0) on a 35-yard touchdown rush for a 7-0 lead early in the first quarter.
Next, a few minutes later, Sam hit paid dirt to extend South Shore’s advantage to 14-0.
Not to miss out on the action, senior Derek Webster returned a Flushing fumble for a 21-yard score and 21-0 lead late in the first quarter.
Senior Raynito Celemente rushed for a 34-yard TD to swell the Vikings’ lead to 28-0 with 1:56 left in the first half.
Dyce cashed in on a 20-yard touchdown run to lengthen South Shore’s margin to 35-0 early in the third period.
Although the refs called a kickoff back, Mobley wouldn’t allow his team to be denied, as he scored again, this time on a 56-yard TD scamper midway through the third quarter, pushing the score to 42-0 in favor of the visiting squad midway through the third.
Joseph was the last ex-Flushing player to get in on the action, as he scored on a four-yard rush to make it 49-0 with 4:39 to go in the third quarter.
The Vikings capped the scoring barrage with a touchdown midway through final period.
South Shore travels to Brooklyn Technical Saturday for a noon tilt.