Massapequa’s Dan Villari sets records with 154 rushing yards in Syracuse’s big win over Pitt


It was a record-setting performance by Massapequa’s Dan Villari for the Orange.

Villari on Saturday became the first tight end in Syracuse program history to rush for 154 yards in the team’s victory over Pitt. It was also the most ground yards for a tight end in at least a decade at the FBS level, according to Syracuse.

Villari was given the rock 17 times in the game, including a 27-yard touchdown on a direct snap play early in the fourth quarter.

Cuse went on to win the game 28-13. The matchup was played at Yankee Stadium in front of 17,101 fans.

A transfer quarterback from Michigan now playing tight end, Villari is used to having the ball in his hands.

“I’m used to running the ball wildcat like that. I tried my best to get everybody else on board,” Villari told ESPN after the game.

Villari tore it up on the Long Island high school level as a dual-threat quarterback. Starring at Plainedge High School, he helped lead the team to a perfect 12-0 record and the school’s first Long Island Class III State Championship in 2019. As a starter, he went 23-1, tossing 1,306 yards and 13 touchdowns, and rushing for 1,522 yards and 25 scores.

Top: Massapequa native Dan Villari (#89) rushing through Pitt defenders in a match-up at Yankee Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 11. (Credit: Syracuse Athletics)

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