By Mike Ricchione
The Carle Place/Wheatley Wildfrogs have been experiencing one of their best seasons in recent memory. Coming in ranked 6th in the preseason, CPW would have to face the top 4 teams in the conference and then 4 below them. In an 8-game regular season, the Wildfrogs went 6-2, earning the number 2 seed in the Nassau Conference IV Football Playoffs. Their First Round matchup will be against who they opened with, the East Rockaway Rocks. In the season opener, the Wildfrogs took the contest 32-14. Chris Kelly completed 4 out of 5 passes for 68 yards and 1 TD. However if you’ve watched the games, you would know that that’s not all that Chris Kelly does. Field General Kelly also unleashed a ground attack on the Rocks, rushing for 82 yards on 6 carries, and one of them went for a touchdown. John DeRidder also put on a solid game, collecting 30 all-purpose yards, a touchdown, and an interception.
After that, Carle Place/Wheatley would lose to North Shore 35-18 in their home opener. That would leave a bad taste in the mouths of the Wildfrogs and their supporters in Section 514. Week 3 featured a thriller in Valley Stream. It was Valley Stream South’s homecoming; the fans were excited seeing their Falcons up 20-7 at the half. In the end, they couldn’t believe what they had seen. Down 2 scores, CPW came back to score 34 unanswered points to win it by 3 scores 41-20. Luke Caliendo, Chris Kelly, and Dom Pascarella broke 50 rushing yards in the game. Week 4 kicked off October and the midway point of the season. In a special edition of Saturday Night Lights, it was Carle Place/Wheatley taking on Locust Valley. T’ziah Albert had 246 all-purpose yards including a game-changing 90 yard kick return for a touchdown with 4:23 left to break a 21-21 tie. Joe Megiel got it done on defense as he racked up 11 tackles and a sack as the Wildfrogs won 34-21
Homecoming was next. The Wildfrogs took on Cold Spring Harbor in what was a “conjoined twins close” 13-12 victory. It might not have been that way if it weren’t for Corey Iglesias’ stop on a two-point conversion attempt with 4:00 left in the 4th quarter. In Week 6, CPW suffered just their second loss, 28-14 against Seaford. Next came the Senior Game. Taking on the Clarke Rams, Seniors Chris Kelly, Dayce Niosi, and Dom Pascarella combined for 161 rushing yards and 3 TD’s. Defensively, Senior Safety Stephen McCleary recorded an interception en route to a 33-15 win. To cap off a great regular season, CPW dominated Island Trees 52-21. The tone was set from the first play when T’ziah Albert recorded yet another kick return touchdown on the opening kickoff.
Coming up, the Carle Place/Wheatley Wildfrogs host the East Rockaway Rocks in the first round of the Nassau Conference IV Football Playoffs on Friday, November 4th at 6:00 PM at the Joseph F. Coady Football Field. Come down and cheer on the Wildfrogs as they make their run towards the Long Island Championship!
All stats reported by News 12 Varsity