The Giants capped off another strong performance last Friday night with 21 unanswered points in the second half, beating the Maine East Blue Demons 35-21 and leveling their record to 3-3 overall.
The Giants also earned their second conference win, moving them to 2-0, in a first place tie with Deerfield.
The Blue Demons had one strategy on Friday night: control the clock. And that’s exactly what they did; their time of possession (TOP) was nearly three times that of the Giants. But, in the end, even clock control couldn’t stop Andrew Sledd and the Giant’s potent offense.
The Blue Demons marched down the field on the opening drive, going 80 yards in 15 plays and 7:28, taking an early 7-0 lead. The Giants responded on their second drive of the game when Sledd ran for an 81-yard touchdown on the Giants’ first snap, contrasting the Blue Demons methodical drive with their own 1-play, 26-second drive, typing the game at 7.
After a three and out by the Blue Demons, the Giants marched 52 yards on six plays, ending with a 25-yard strike from Max Mordini to Sledd, putting the Giants up by 14-7. Mordini looked sharp all night, completing 5 of his 8 passes for 134 yards and 1 TD, but Mordini really impressed with his ability to move the ball on third down: he was 3 for 3 with 79 yards and a TD, including a 35-yard pass to senior wide out Ross Chukerman on a third and 17.
The Blue Demons responded before the end of the half with a 13-play, 72-yard drive that ate up most of the 2nd quarter clock, and ended with a 7-yard TD pass by George Zakharia to sophomore receiver Alex Corey.
The Giants went into the locker room having controlled the ball for less than 5-minutes, while the Blue Demons had it for nearly 19. Things weren’t as lopsided in the second half, but the theme was still the same: the Blue Demon’s TOP was 16:15, while the Giant’s was just 7:36.
It was a rough start to the third quarter for the Giant’s, as sophomore Tommy Sutker fumbled on the third play of the half, to which the Blue Demons responded with an 11-play, 4:38, 38-yard drive ending with a 2-yard TD rush by Zakharia. That gave the Blue Demons a 21-14 lead.
But that was all the scoring the Blue Demons would muster as the Giant’s defense finally clamped down. Mordini and Sledd looked sharp on the next drive as Mordini went 2 for 4 for 42 yards and Sledd rushed for 51-yards, 38 of those coming on a TD run to the outside.
In what may have been the play of the game, with the scored tied 21-21, senior defensive back John Bricker picked off Zakharia at the Maine East 35-yard line, setting up a 4-play, 34 second drive that ended with another Sledd touchdown run.
After the Giant defense forced another 3 and out, Sledd busted for another TD run, this one a 32-yarder, putting the Giants up 35-21 (in what would be the eventual final score). It was another tremendous night for Sledd, as he rushed for 217 yards, with a long of 81, four TDs on the ground, and one through the air. In the last three games, Sledd has tallied up 16 touchdowns and has run for more than 1,000 all-purpose yards.
The Giants face another road test next week as they travel to Niles North where they’ll take on the 2-4 (1-1) Vikings on Friday night.