Roosevelt Football
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The Roosevelt Rough Riders football team is having another good year under Coach Joseph Vito. They have racked up a 6-1 record with their only loss coming at the hands of division powerhouse Seaford.
With the help of star tailback Donte Colter, the Rough Riders have barreled their way through opposing defenses this season. The 215 pound senior has amassed over 1100 yards making him the leading rusher in Nassau County. Quarterback Erin Parker has also been a threat on the ground. Inside linebackers Manny Jones and Jamel Wilson have been a force on the defensive side of the field. Jones has been averaging ten tackles a game and recorded fifteen tackles against Seaford on Saturday night.
The Rough Riders blew out their first three opponents by a combined score of 101 to 28.  Their closest game was a come from behind overtime win over Floral Park 28-20 in week four before losing to Seaford on Saturday night.
"We had been dominating most of our competition before we ran into Seaford," said Vito. "They were beating us 21-0 at half before we got our act together." Roosevelt scored three touchdowns, two from tailback Colter in the second half including a sixty three yarder. They would have taken the lead but failed on a two point conversion attempt. They were able to limit Seaford on the ground by not allowing them to score any rushing touchdowns. "We were able to defend their ground game which has been one of their main weapons this season but we couldn't stop them through the air," said Vito.
Colter who is nicknamed "the monster" by his teammates had one of the best games of his career against East Rockaway earlier this month. He had 21 carries for 243 yards and four touchdowns. His sixty yard touchdown scamper before the close of the half changed the game in Roosevelt’s favor. The Rough Riders beat East Rockaway 36-24. In each game he has scored two or more touchdowns.
"He's improved every year since he's been on the team," said Vito. "He's one of the biggest tailbacks I've ever had. He's fast and if he gets in the open field forget about it you're not going to stop him. He's got all the tools you need to be a successful running back."
Colter, who has been scouted by Stony Brook University and other Division 1AA schools, gave Roosevelt the best odds for defeating Seaford who is currently on a thirty nine game Conference Four winning streak. "In the past three years we have been the one team that has come closest to knocking them off," said Vito. "We had our best chance Saturday night but just couldn't capitalize."
The defense has stood tall for the Rough Riders this season with both Jones and Wilson combining for multiple tackles at the inside linebacker position. "They have shored up the defense real well for us inside." In the first three games the defense held its opponents to less than a hundred yards of rushing per game. "We are actually giving up more yards through the air than on the ground which is uncharacteristic for us. Usually our secondary is pretty solid but teams have made some big passing plays on us this year."
Roosevelt will play its last regular season game at Locust Valley on Saturday before the playoff schedule begins. They will most likely be a number two seed behind Seaford. "We want to get back to the Roosevelt of the early 2000's when he had multiple Long Island championships," said Vito. "We have the pieces in place this year and I think we are very capable of putting it all together."


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