Carey Runs All Over Lynbrook’s Defense in Loss


Sean Strohofer

Seniors Michael O’Hagan and Chris Lucchesse try to tackle a Carey halfback

After dropping their last game at Manhasset, the Owls needed to get back into the win column on Saturday. However, there was an obstacle–their opponent was a top-seeded team in their division. After picking up their first loss of the season, the Carey Seahawks had the same goal.  

When it seemed like Lynbrook was ready to charge onto the field, they were met with an unfortunate occurrence; the Owls lost senior Thomas Byrne before the game. The lineman was a large part of Lynbrook’s run defense, as well as their blocking during run plays. With a key factor of the team’s success out of the game, Lynbrook was down before the game even started. 

When asked about Byrne, Coach David Yaker replied with optimism: “I think that put us behind the eight ball early, as we had to have people who don’t normally play as much step up and fill his shoes. But I’m proud of the way we responded because we picked one another up instead of throwing in the towel after such adversity.” Seniors Michael Fagen and Tyler Denker both said that losing Byrne before the game was a huge disability, as he has an important job on both sides of the ball. “I truly believe that he would have shut down Carey if he played,” said Fagen. 

Lynbrook was down 7-0 after their first drive. A fumble recovery off a bad snap gave Carey great field position for an early rushing touchdown. There was not much action left in the first quarter, as both teams punted the ball on their following drives. Carey’s punt put the Owls within their own 10-yard line, but a facemask moved them up to the 20. 

The Owls marched all the way down the field to score a passing touchdown from Fagen to senior Jaylin Walker. After they converted the two-point attempt, Lynbrook was up, 8-7. However, the Seahawks responded with a 97-yard rushing touchdown, followed by a passing touchdown in the redzone on the next drive. Suddenly the score was 22-8, and Lynbrook was down heading into the half. 

The third quarter did not have much in store, as neither team managed to put points on the board after halftime. Lynbrook was able to drive down the field at the end of the quarter to set up a Fagen rushing touchdown early in the fourth, making it 15-22. Carey’s third rushing touchdown of the game increased their lead, but a missed PAT left the score at 15-28. A good return from senior Daniel Barroso gave Lynbrook a chance to get back onto the board, but a turnover gave the Seahawks the ball back. The defense was able to stop them in their redzone, but that turnover might have cost them the game.  

Walker’s second receiving touchdown, followed by a missed PAT, lowered the lead down to 7 with only 28.8 seconds left in the game. Lynbrook needed to get the onside kick to still have a chance at a win but could not pull through. 

“Carey is a physical and hard team to beat in the run,” said Denker after the game. “We killed ourselves with bad alignment and simple mistakes that can be corrected. I think with the return of Byrne next week and a good defensive gameplan, we can get better on the defensive side of the ball.” 

Next week will be one to remember for Lynbrook. Coach Yaker will make his awaited return to Hewlett in a large rivalry between the two schools. He expressed, “I left Hewlett for a job that I dreamed about since I was a little kid watching games from my own front step. I’m looking forward to going back there and seeing familiar faces, along with competing in a game that I truly love. Friday night lights are always special games, and I look forward to bringing the team there to compete in the best way possible.” 

Fagen was not shy with his confidence in the team heading into the game versus Hewlett. “We are going to shut them down and make them cry,” he said. Hewlett is 0-3 on the year; however, their schedule to start the year was not the easiest. They will head into Friday night trying to get back into the win column on their home turf.