WARWICK — Joey Fotino blocked out the voices of Burke Catholic players at the line of scrimmage and kept his focus.
Burke Catholic’s defense was calling Warwick plays just as it broke the huddle. But that didn’t stop Fotino from a banner day.
Spotting Burke 14 points, Fotino and Warwick’s offensive line gained control in the second quarter. Fotino scored four unanswered touchdowns, the first ones of his high school career, and rushed for 194 yards in Warwick’s 36-21 win on homecoming.
“That's our offense,” Fotino said. “We are a run offense. We knew what we were coming into. We had to get the yardage that we could and get into the end zone.
“We have a lot of trust in our line. We were getting five yards a carry and you need 3.3 (yards) to win the game.”
Fotino averaged an impressive 9.7 yards on his 20 carries. The senior waited for his chance behind Kyle Rooney and Harrison Parrelli. Fotino may be joining Rooney and Parrelli in Warwick’s 1,000-yard club. He’s rushed for 332 yards in Warwick’s first two games.
“This is Joey's year,” Warwick coach Greg Sirico said. “He's done a great job. He's worked hard for it and I'm glad to see him get the results that he deserves.”
While Fotino starred on offense, senior safety Jordan Pinskey produced the game’s turning point. After Fotino cut Burke Catholic’s lead in half with his first touchdown, the Eagles were driving to go up two scores when Pinskey picked off Jackson Hoovler and returned the interception to Burke's 26.
Four plays later, Fotino scored from 15 yards out and senior quarterback Luke Vignola’s two-point conversion gave Warwick (1-1) a 15-14 lead with 4:02 left in the first half. The Wildcats would never trail again.
“In the beginning, we gave up too many big plays and we weren't focused,” said Pinskey, who had a pick-six in Warwick’s homecoming game last year. “We talked it out on the sideline and focused up. We knew we have a great defense and when we are doing the right thing, we know we can stop anyone.”
Vignola, a running quarterback, was inserted in the third quarter for junior Aidan Clatur, who was starting for the injured Mike Buonanno. He rushed for 94 yards on 12 carries including a 5-yard touchdown on fourth down to complete Warwick’s scoring late in the fourth quarter.
Warwick held Burke Catholic (1-1) without a touchdown pass after Hoovler threw a school-record six in a season-opening win over Red Hook. Hoovler completed 15 of 19 passes for 188 yards. Hoovler, Brendan Tierney and Dan Weslowski scored rushing touchdowns.
Tierney, who caught nine passes for 197 yards and five touchdowns last week, was limited to three receptions for 17 yards. Warwick senior Devin Boone picked off a trick pass by Tierney in the second quarter.
“We have 124 years of football at Warwick, so being down 14-0 at homecoming we had to buckle it up and decide who we were, and we did,” Sirico said. “We came out and the kids responded. I feel good about every win.”