MARLBORO — No one in a Marlboro uniform hit the panic button when they realized that injured senior quarterback Sam Mongelli wasn’t going to suit up for Friday’s game against Spackenkill.
That’s because the Iron Dukes have an embarrassment of riches at the position. No Mongelli. No problem.
Dukes coach Brian Beck has said from day one that he feels just as comfortable having junior Christian Diorio calling the signals.
Diorio called a near-flawless game in Friday’s 41-13 Section 9 non-league victory over Spackenkill.
He completed 8 of 14 passes for 123 yards and three touchdowns, including 31- and 23-yard TD throws to classmate Gio Frisenda. Diorio also scored the game’s first touchdown on a 11-yard run early in the first quarter and finished with 82 yards on just nine carries.
“Christian likes to say that he and Sammie are the two best quarterbacks in Section 9 Class B, and I truly believe it,” Beck said. “We’re very lucky with the situation we have. Most teams don’t have that luxury of having a kid that can be plugged in and your offense doesn’t go down the drain. Christian has been one of our main guys all year, so it’s nice to see him shine a little bit.”
Beck said Mongelli sat out with a sore throwing hand after it was stepped on in last week’s win over Burke Catholic. He said it was the second time that happened this year. He is expected back for next week’s Homecoming contest vs. Highland.
But with Diorio firing on all cylinders and reliable halfback Ameer Williams (8 rushes, 95 yards) adding a pair of touchdown runs in the second quarter, the Dukes (5-1) cruised to a 26-6 halftime lead and were never threatened.
Spackenkill (3-3) suffered a blow when star running back Dhyquem Lewinson went out of the game early with an apparent leg injury. He had only two carries on the evening.
Diorio was pleased that he was able to get the passing game going.
“Our offensive line was huge tonight,” he said. “They were giving me so much time in the pocket to throw and my wide receivers ran perfect routes and I was letting the ball fly.”
Frisenda caught three passes for 60 yards and now has three scores in the past two games.
With the playoffs around the corner, Frisenda thinks it’s important that the Dukes have a balanced attack.
“We have to be able to do both,” he said of having a strong passing attack to complement the Dukes’ typical ground-and-pound running game. “The offensive line and everyone has to be able to get a push when we get up to states.”