Vikings Clinch First Division Title in More Than 30 Years

This season, the Vikings went 7-1, after two 0-8 seasons.

The Port Washington Vikings clinched their first division title in more than 30 years by defeating Jericho 26-20 in a game billed as “The War for the North Shore.” The game capped a storybook season in which the Vikings went 7-1 after two prior 0-8 seasons. In league play, the Vikings were a perfect 6-0 and their only loss of the season came in one of their two non-league games.

Port Washington’s division title came in a rematch on October 27, pitting a first seeded (6-1) Vikings team against the second seeded (5-2) Jericho Jayhawks in a title bout which would leave Port Washington Division V Champs. The rematch came only one week after the Vikings had handed the Jayhawks their first in-league loss.

Jericho jumped out to an early 7-0 lead in the first quarter with a 52 yard run. Port Washington responded with a touchdown after a long drive of their own capped off when Junior QB James Burns (who completed 6 passes in 8 attempts with 3 TDs, 1 PAT and 1 Int) connected with Senior Co-Captain Aaron Underwood with a 3 yd TD. Port Washington scored again in the second quarter when Burns connected with Junior Matt Siegel for a 33 yd TD pass. However Jericho responded with another rushing TD to take the lead 14-12 at halftime.

Port Washington came out aggressively in the third quarter and took the lead when Burns connected with Siegel for a second TD this time for 28 Yds to take an 18-12 lead. Burns hit Siegel again for the 2 pt. PAT to make the score 20-14.  In the fourth quarter,  Jericho  tied up the game with another short rushing touchdown to tie the score 20-20 but missed the PAT. But with approximately 4 minutes left in the game, the Vikings put together a sustained 65 yard drive which was capped off by a 14 yard rushing touchdown by junior running back Michael Gennusa (who rushed for 151 Yds in 24 attempts) which made the final score 26-20 giving the Vikings their first Division Championship in over 30 years!

The Vikings will surely miss the contributions of graduating seniors: Aaron Underwood (WR/LB); Vincent Miscoscia (QB/TE/ILB); Adam Gatehouse (OL/DL); Ian McCalla (WR/DB); Andrew McCullen (WR/OLB); Christian Castillo (RB/ILB); Vincent Baglio (OL/DL); David Rudman (OL/DL); Jesse Perez (OL/DL); Matt Solis (OL/DL); and Diondre Dumpson (OL/DL).  These determined young men stuck with the program through its most difficult years, helping to build the foundation of the new Port Washington Football Program.

The Viking defense was exceptional this year, allowing only 17.5 points per game led by the outstanding play of senior Captains Aaron Underwood, Vincent Miscoscia and Adam Gatehouse.

On offense the Vikings averaged  25.6 points per game led by junior quarterback James Burns. Burns threw for an incredible 1060 yards with 69 completions in 126 attempts with 18 touchdowns, 4 PATs with only 8 interceptions, making Burns one the 11th leading yardage passer on Long Island and the 4th leading Long Island QB in terms of number of passing touchdowns. This Viking aerial assault was made possible by seniors Aaron Underwood (4TDs) and Vincent Miscoscia (1TD) and a plethora of juniors including Matt Siegel (7 TDs), Kyle Granger (4 TDs), Michael Gennusa (1 TD) and Robert Reyes (1 TD)

On the ground, the Vikings added another 10 touchdowns benefiting from the play of junior running back Michael Gennusa who led the team with 618 yards rushing on 101 attempts and 4 rushing touchdowns. QB Burns rushed for an additional 407 yards on 79 attempts with 4 rushing touchdowns. Juniors Jermaine Brown and Angel Reyes also added another touchdown each.

This year’s achievements also could not have been possible without the hard work of Head Coach Jamel Ramsay and the skill and dedication of assistant coaches, including line coaches, Joe Simeone and Chris Camera, secondary and back coach Widmaier Aime, and linebacker and quarterback coach Erik Anderwkavich. 

While the Vikings may have benefited from the shift to the newly established Nassau Division V, it is hard for anyone to argue that this team is not one of the best or possible the best football team(s) in Port Washington history. The team’s dramatic turnaround has surely served to revitalize the program. Going forward, it is certain that players, coaches, and fans alike will have high expectations for Port Washington Viking Football.

With special thanks to James M. Burns. 

George Mulligan November 16, 2012 at 10:14 PM
I was a teenager in the 1960's. While I did not go to Port High I went to a lot of their football games. I think the teams from the '60's were very competitive and may have won a few championships. And from what I have read the teams in the '40's and 50's could give you a good run for the money.We need a few senior citizens to chip in and give us some details from the good old days.
Anon November 16, 2012 at 11:36 PM
Port tied in the county championship game in 74, won it in 75 and won it in 76, as shown on this link from newsday http://www.newsday.com/sports/high-school/football/long-island-football-champions-1.1277051 let's not go around saying this is the best port team. I've played football for port, been around port football for a long time, my father played in the 70s, my grandfather played in the 40s/50s on great teams, and followed a lot since I was young -- those teams in the late 90s had more than just j ham (frank zacchario was all county rb, spencer bodner was great qb, etc), and even the team in 2001 went 4-4, missed the playoffs by one game in a year where they played garden city, lawrence and south side - you can go to port news' website in the archives or google search some articles - these teams won a lot of games against real teams. I should probably start pulling old articles and posting them here. Or maybe I should go to the school and pull the game-tapes and post them - its really not even close. PW is accustomed to losing now (I can probably count the amount of games port has won since 2002 on one hand until this year), but we cant just forget about the past and claim that beating St. Doms, jericho, GN, Friends, Lu Hi, etc. means this team is the best in the whole history of port washington football. Congrats on beating these teams, but NOT the best team in history - not even close. FYI The phrase "Bring Back the Pride" implies there was once pride.
George Mulligan November 16, 2012 at 11:50 PM
PW, thanks for your info. Now we need the real old timers to fill in the details from the 1940's to the 1960's. Is anyone still around to tell us about the 1930's (or '20"s)?
James Burns November 17, 2012 at 01:38 AM
I think that many may agree to disagree. I really dont think anyone can say for sure how some of the best PW teams of the past would fare against this years team. Football and players have evolved considerably since the 70s or 40s. I think that this years team accomplishments go a long way in rekindling memories of great PW teams on the past and these hard working young men should enjoy the full support of the PW community. Hopefully even more boys will come out, support and spectator crowds will continue to grow, and the renewal of a winning PW football tradition will result in so many great teams that there will be many one can choose to argue which is "the" best.
Anon November 17, 2012 at 03:12 AM
Regardless of Who's the best team, as that will never be truly answered, I think we are all very happy for them and hope that they build on this years success for the years to follow... And hopefully Joannon gets them out of that league


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