The Calhoun High School football team celebrated homecoming in grand fashion with a 21-7 win over visiting New Hyde Park Saturday.
The win, which was Jeff Haruthunian's first as head coach of the Colts, was a true team effort. The Colts' defense forced six Gladiator turnovers, four of which Ryan Mulcahy ended up with. Mulcahy had two interceptions and two recovered fumbles on the afternoon.
"We played great today," Mulcahy said. "We worked hard in practice, and it's nice to see the work pay off."
Calhoun got off to a quick start when TJ Marrapodi took the opening kickoff back to the New Hyde Park 25-yard line. A few plays later, senior Scott Halleran ran from two yards out to give the Colts a 7-0 lead.
"In high school football, momentum means a lot," Haruthunian said. "That opening kickoff return was a big play for us."
It looked like New Hyde Park would strike back, but the Gladiators fumbled on the Calhoun 15-yard line and Steven Valentino recovered for Calhoun.
Early in the second quarter, New Hyde Park took a risk by going for it on fourth down, and it paid off. Christian Trasolini caught a 38-yard pass from Nick Perrone to tie the game at 7-7. Both offenses struggled throughout the rest of the first half, the teams went into the locker room tied.
Calhoun gained momentum when a New Hyde Park receiver fumbled after making a catch. Mulcahy recovered the loose ball to give the Colts excellent field position, which led Elias Encarnacion breaking loose for a 32-yard touchdown run. Calhoun led 14-7.
The Colts put the game away early in the fourth period, when Brendan Schiaffo ran it into the endzone from three yards out. Calhoun would control the clock from there, and they secured the 21-7 victory.
"It was a good team win," Haruthunian, who had the water cooler poured over his head, said. "We did the little things, and that lead to victory."
New Hyde Park Coach Kevin Dolan denied Patch's request for an interview.
Calhoun returns to action on Friday when they travel to face Herricks. Kickoff will be at 5 p.m.