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Sayville scorches East Islip 51-44 with Jack Coan rooting them on from the sideline

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Touchdowns galore. Clutch interceptions. And a sideline visit from Sayville great Jack Coan of Notre Dame.

Sayville football’s homecoming game Saturday afternoon at the high school was one for the ages — with the Golden Flashes prevailing 51-44 over East Islip in a battle of Suffolk County Division III unbeatens.

A nail biter of a finish saw Macklin Murtha intercept an East Islip pass inside Sayville’s 30-yard line with 32.2 seconds remaining in the game.

Murtha’s big interception

Mack Murtha helps seal the win for Sayville.

Earlier in the fourth quarter, Kyle Messina (29 carries for 252 yards rushing) chugged into the end zone on fourth-and-goal from the one-yard line to give Sayville a two-score lead. The two-point conversion put the home team up 51-37 with less than four minutes remaining.

East Islip charged back for a quick touchdown strike, and then recovered an onside kick with 2:12 on the clock. East Islip’s offense seemed poised to at least tie the game, creeping inside Sayville’s 30-yard line before Murtha’s pick. Sayville’s offense was then able to run out the clock.

Notre Dame’s Jack Coan lends sideline support

Watching all the drama from the Sayville sideline — planted around the north goal line with his dad Michael — was Notre Dame quarterback Jack Coan, a 2017 Sayville High School graduate.

“This community gave so much to me,” Coan told GreaterSayville. “I had the opportunity this week … to come back and give support.”

Coan was able to come home for homecoming because No. 14 Notre Dame has a bye week in its schedule. The Fighting Irish (5-1) host USC next Saturday, and Coan said he is thrilled to be part of one of college football’s greatest rivalries.

Coan, playing his final year of eligibility with Notre Dame after transferring in January from Wisconsin, was speaking with his alma mater trailing 14-7 at the end of the first quarter. Asked if he’d consider peeking into the locker room and giving the Golden Flashes some motivating words, he said confidently, “No, they’ve got this under control.”

Indeed. The Golden Flashes would go into the locker room with a 28-23 lead, and never trailed again.

Pre-game story