The Port Washington Vikings clinched their first division title in more than 30 years by defeating Jericho 26-20 in a game billed as “The War for the North Shore.” The game capped a storybook season in which the Vikings went 7-1 after two prior 0-8 seasons. In league play, the Vikings were a perfect 6-0 and their only loss of the season came in one of their two non-league games.
Port Washington’s division title came in a rematch on October 27, pitting a first seeded (6-1) Vikings team against the second seeded (5-2) Jericho Jayhawks in a title bout which would leave Port Washington Division V Champs. The rematch came only one week after the Vikings had handed the Jayhawks their first in-league loss.
Jericho jumped out to an early 7-0 lead in the first quarter with a 52 yard run. Port Washington responded with a touchdown after a long drive of their own capped off when Junior QB James Burns (who completed 6 passes in 8 attempts with 3 TDs, 1 PAT and 1 Int) connected with Senior Co-Captain Aaron Underwood with a 3 yd TD. Port Washington scored again in the second quarter when Burns connected with Junior Matt Siegel for a 33 yd TD pass. However Jericho responded with another rushing TD to take the lead 14-12 at halftime.
Port Washington came out aggressively in the third quarter and took the lead when Burns connected with Siegel for a second TD this time for 28 Yds to take an 18-12 lead. Burns hit Siegel again for the 2 pt. PAT to make the score 20-14. In the fourth quarter, Jericho tied up the game with another short rushing touchdown to tie the score 20-20 but missed the PAT. But with approximately 4 minutes left in the game, the Vikings put together a sustained 65 yard drive which was capped off by a 14 yard rushing touchdown by junior running back Michael Gennusa (who rushed for 151 Yds in 24 attempts) which made the final score 26-20 giving the Vikings their first Division Championship in over 30 years!
The Vikings will surely miss the contributions of graduating seniors: Aaron Underwood (WR/LB); Vincent Miscoscia (QB/TE/ILB); Adam Gatehouse (OL/DL); Ian McCalla (WR/DB); Andrew McCullen (WR/OLB); Christian Castillo (RB/ILB); Vincent Baglio (OL/DL); David Rudman (OL/DL); Jesse Perez (OL/DL); Matt Solis (OL/DL); and Diondre Dumpson (OL/DL). These determined young men stuck with the program through its most difficult years, helping to build the foundation of the new Port Washington Football Program.
The Viking defense was exceptional this year, allowing only 17.5 points per game led by the outstanding play of senior Captains Aaron Underwood, Vincent Miscoscia and Adam Gatehouse.
On offense the Vikings averaged 25.6 points per game led by junior quarterback James Burns. Burns threw for an incredible 1060 yards with 69 completions in 126 attempts with 18 touchdowns, 4 PATs with only 8 interceptions, making Burns one the 11th leading yardage passer on Long Island and the 4th leading Long Island QB in terms of number of passing touchdowns. This Viking aerial assault was made possible by seniors Aaron Underwood (4TDs) and Vincent Miscoscia (1TD) and a plethora of juniors including Matt Siegel (7 TDs), Kyle Granger (4 TDs), Michael Gennusa (1 TD) and Robert Reyes (1 TD)
On the ground, the Vikings added another 10 touchdowns benefiting from the play of junior running back Michael Gennusa who led the team with 618 yards rushing on 101 attempts and 4 rushing touchdowns. QB Burns rushed for an additional 407 yards on 79 attempts with 4 rushing touchdowns. Juniors Jermaine Brown and Angel Reyes also added another touchdown each.
This year’s achievements also could not have been possible without the hard work of Head Coach Jamel Ramsay and the skill and dedication of assistant coaches, including line coaches, Joe Simeone and Chris Camera, secondary and back coach Widmaier Aime, and linebacker and quarterback coach Erik Anderwkavich.
While the Vikings may have benefited from the shift to the newly established Nassau Division V, it is hard for anyone to argue that this team is not one of the best or possible the best football team(s) in Port Washington history. The team’s dramatic turnaround has surely served to revitalize the program. Going forward, it is certain that players, coaches, and fans alike will have high expectations for Port Washington Viking Football.
With special thanks to James M. Burns.