The Mepham Pirates football team followed up a huge Week 2 win against top-ranked Carey with a 38-14 wrecking of the Jericho Jayhawks on Saturday for the Mepham homecoming.
The win moves the Pirates to 3-0 and keeps them tied atop a very tough Conference II.
"Homecoming is a huge day for the seniors, and really everyone for our program," Mepham head coach Anthony Cracco said after the win. "... You only get a couple of them and you want to make the most out of it. They played hard -- they came to play today."
Mepham capped off a 50-yard opening drive with a 22-yard field goal from kicker Rob Lagomarsini, but Jericho quickly countered with a 27-yard touchdown pass to take its only lead of the game.
Dylan Gordon returned the ensuing kickoff 50 yards for the Pirates and quarterback A.J. Heller threw a 33-yard touchdown pass to Shane Agostino on the very next play to give Mepham a 10-7 lead.
"We're the best team on Long Island and we're going to prove it every week," Agostino said.
"It gives us a lot of confidence. We have a lot of confidence going into every game and it keeps increasing with every win," the junior added.
After Mepham held the Jayhawks on their next drive, it took Pirates running back Kevin Tauriello just 39 seconds and two plays to put his team up 17-7 after he scampered into the end zone on a 30-yard run.
Tauriello finished with 152 yards on 18 carries.
A quick three and out resulted in a punt for Jericho, which Agostino quickly took 65 yards to the end zone to put the Pirates up 24-7.
A late score in the second quarter cut the lead to 24-14, but the Pirates never looked back in the second half. Joey Dentici's gorgeous over-the-shoulder interception set up an 11-yard touchdown pass from Heller to Elias Lozada.
"He's a permanent blocker and he does a great job on the edge setting up a lot of our perimeter game," Cracco said of Dentici's play. "And as a defensive back, he had four or five key tackles and a huge interception down the sideline that help set us up."
Heller finished 5-for-9 for 129 yards and the two touchdowns, while Lozada finished with two catches for 40 yards on offense and two sacks on defense. Joe Alberti also added two sacks for the Pirates.
Sophomore running back Chris Gabriel capped off the Mepham scoring with a huge 55-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. He finished with five carries for 76 yards.
"All three facets of the game were good today: the offense, the defense and the special teams. ... It was a good team win, a good team effort and a lot of guys contributed."
Mepham will look to continue its undefeated start next week at Wantagh High School (2-1) at 3 p.m.