By Danny Schrafel
For the second straight year, Elwood’s John Glenn Knights made it to the Division IV football finals. Unfortunately for the Knights, it’s also the second year they were runners-up.
A motivated, energized Shoreham Wading River Wildcats squad defeated the Knights in a 47-10 final Saturday afternoon at the Kenneth LaValle Stadium at Stony Brook University.
The difference on the field at Saturday’s title match, Elwood coach Dave Shanahan said, was Wildcats quarterback Danny Hughes, who rushed for 300 yards and hit triple-digits in passing as well.
“Their quarterback was spectacular,” the Elwood coach said. “He played at another level.”
Hughes’ standout performance, paired with the Wildcats’ defensive line, frustrated the Knights play after play. Pressure from the Wildcats defense forced Glenn quarterback Wayne White to throw more frequently than usual, taking him out of the comfort zone of a stellar running/ground game.
After staying square with the Wildcats in the first quarter, a 23-point second quarter sent the Knights into the locker room with a 30-10 deficit at halftime.
Shortly into the third quarter, though, the Knights gave the hometown rooters, hundreds of whom made the trip to Stony Brook, a glimmer of hope. Shihan Rudyk produced and recovered a Wildcats fumble. “It’s not over yet!” players on the Elwood sidelines shouted.
But it was not to be. The Knights were unable to make much headway on the turnover, and the Wildcats soon after converted a field goal for the only score of the third quarter.
The Knights conclude the 2014 season with a 9-2 record, both losses coming against Shoreham-Wading River. Shanahan said 13 seniors are set to graduate, but a strong junior class has gotten plenty of game time and is standing ready in the wings.
“We had a great year,” he said. “It’s sad we ended on that note… We look forward to rebounding next year.”