By Stephen Spiewak
Ellenville, N.Y., High captured the Section 9 Class C championship Saturday night, avenging its only loss this season by beating Sullivan West, 34-20, at Dietz Stadium in Kingston. But that wasn’t even the biggest story.
Leading the team into the game was senior Tony Casamento, a 305-pound defensive tackle who called the signals at quarterback during the team‘s semifinal win over Millbrook (N.Y.). Casamento was filling in for injured starter Sebastian Constable, who had an appendectomy two days earlier.
In Ellenville’s run-heavy offense, Casamento was primarily responsible for handing off the ball to backs Eric Thayer and Don Exner.
He did add a successful two-point conversion toss in his only pass attempt of the game.
“People laughed at me when I said he’s a quarterback in a lineman’s body,” head coach Tony Boriello told the Times Herald-Record. “But he really is.”
To put it in perspective, former Giants back-up quarterback Jared Lorenzen is considered the heaviest quarterback ever to play in the NFL. He stood at 6-foot-4 and weighed 285 pounds. Casamento has him beat by a good 20 pounds.
At 5-10, Casamento is also six inches shorter.
In addition to his unabashed love of food, Casamento is known and respected for his football expertise.
“He’s the next John Madden,” Thayer told the Times Herald-Record. “You name it, he knows it.”
Casamento was relegated to line duty on Saturday for the Section 9 championship game. Constable returned for game against Sullivan West, playing both quarterback and defensive back, where he intercepted a pass in the third quarter.
Next Friday, Casamento and the Blue Devils are slated to take on Section 1 champion Croton-Harmon in the NYSPHSAA Class C quarterfinals at Mahopac High School. Constable is expected to start in that game, but Ellenville appears to have an adequate back-up quarterback waiting in the wings – rather, in the trenches of the defensive line.