Long leads Pius to win over Colts
nancy scholz/times news Marian's Paul Martin is wrapped up by Dashon Russell (4) of Pius X.
ROSETO - Quarterbacks often run and throw for a lot of yards in high school football games. But what AJ Long did Saturday in a 45-13 win over Marian can't even be measured by the stellar numbers the sophomore put up Saturday on his home field.
Long completed 13 of 20 passes without an interception. He racked up 251 passing yards while throwing for two touchdowns. And he ran for 101 yards and three touchdowns. A few of his incomplete passes were well-thrown balls that receivers could not come up with.
"When he's on, he looks like [he did Saturday]," said Royals head coach Phil Stambaugh. "He's a sophomore, so he makes mistakes. But today he was pretty flawless and I'm very proud of his efforts."
The Royals, which had seven different players catch passes in the game, like to spread the field. That sometimes leaves room for Long to escape the pocket.
He did that on his team's first play from scrimmage, going 32 yards for a touchdown. The score was set up by DuBois Ross' 60-yard punt return and gave the Royals a 6-0 lead less than two minutes into the game.
"If we're able to spread the field and do things consistently well and execute," Stambaugh said, "AJ's going to have a chance to break the pocket and run."
Marian tried to answer, driving to the Pius 25-yard line before an interception gave the ball back to the Royals on their own 8-yard line.
Long took over and led a 92-yard, 17-play touchdown drive that ended with Petey Hernandez's 4-yard run to pay dirt for a 13-0 lead with 4:25 left in the first quarter.
The Colts again tried to respond. They took over and gained a couple first downs before a fumble gave the ball back to the Royals at their own 39-yard line.
The turnover resulted in another Pius touchdown. It took three plays to cover the 61 yards. Long ran in from 14 yards out to give his team a 20-0 lead with 7:30 left in the first half.
"We had turnovers last week," said Marian head coach Stan Dakosty. "This is a great football team. You've got to limit their chances. In the first quarter we were moving the ball, but we turned the ball over. That stuff happens."
Long ran for another score late in the second quarter, getting in from 26 yards out to cap an 8-play drive and give his team a 26-0 lead with 1:44 left in the first half.
Pius added touchdowns on each of its first three second-half possessions.
Long hit Matt Camiletti for a 27-yard score just after halftime for a 33-0 lead with 10:22 left in the third quarter.
Camiletti, who caught five passes for 111 yards, set his school's career record for receiving yards in the game. He has over 2,100 yards and the rest of his senior year to add more.
Long got the mercy-rule clocked going with a 36-yard strike to tight end Anthony Martino for a 39-0 lead with 7:26 left in the third quarter.
Marian got on the board with a 4-yard Paul Martin run that capped a 10-play drive. Dylan Quirk's 31-yard run highlighted the drive.
Pius came right back with a 5-play touchdown drive. Ross broke free for a 53-yard touchdown run to give the Royals a 45-6 lead with 7:45 left in the game.
Marian came right back with a 53-yard run by Anthony Agosti that capped the scoring at 45-13 with 7:45 left in the game.
The Royals finished with 550 yards of total offense.
"They're a great football team," said Dakosty. "We knew coming in we were going to have our hands full. Long is hard to account for. He hurt us. They all hurt us. The athleticism we saw this week is as good as we're going to see all year."