Dick Sanford | Democrat
On a tough opening night for Sullivan West, linebacker Andrew Stabbert (44) was a bright spot with a game-high 13 tackles.
Story by Fred Stabbert III
LAKE HUNTINGTON September 10, 2013 The Sullivan West Bulldogs started off their 2013 campaign with a 46-6 non-league loss at the hands of rival John S. Burke.
The Friday night game began well for the Bulldogs as they kicked off to Burke and forced a fumble on the first play from scrimmage to get excellent field position at midfield.
But as was the case for most of the night, the stingy and swarming Burke defense held the Bulldogs to just three plays before forcing a punt.
Burke then went on a 12-play, 80-yard drive which was culminated by a touchdown scamper by halfback Matt Przybocki. A successful two-point conversion made it 8-0 midway through the first quarter. Przybocki had a big night for Burke, rushing for 160 yards on 21 carries.
Burke (1-0) added two more scores in the second quarter before Sullivan West fashioned its own drive late in the first half.
Bulldog quarterback Richard Sheevak used his feet and arm to move his team down to the five-yard line.
Sheevak then hit Eli Peters on a crossing route in the back of the endzone for a touchdown with just 16 seconds left in the half.
“We really wanted to keep them out of the end zone on that drive,” Burke coach Ed Van Curen Jr. said. “It was a relatively close game and we didn’t want to give them any momentum heading into halftime.”
Sullivan West received the kickoff to start the second half but an interception gave Burke great field position and they soon had their fourth touchdown of the night.
Sullivan West would not score in the second half andBurke continued to pile up yardage and points en route to the convincing victory in the season opener for both teams. For the game, Burke gained more than 300 yards on the ground.
“I thought we played well,” Van Curen Jr. said. “We worked hard in the off season and it paid off.”
Even though the teams are not in the same division, Van Curen still said the rivalry had his players up for the game.
“They are all rivalry games as far as I’m concerned, Sullivan West, Liberty and O’Neill,” he said. “They are all tough opponents.”
Shevak led Sullivan West with 11 rushes for 53 yards and Andrew Stabbert had 8 rushes for 44 yards and four kickoff returns for 57 yards.
Stabbert also added 13 tackles and Devin Mirch and Sean Hart had eight tackles apiece.
Sullivan West (0-1) is off this week.