James Hegel started his Saturday facing the SAT challenge.
He later completed it by engraving his name in the MacArthur Book of Records.
Hegel was all over high school for the Generals, broke the program record in one game for interceptions with four, and returned the final 100 yards for a touchdown in a 47-21 road win over Mepham in a Nassau II football match.
Even though Hegel was delighted to set the record, he was already focusing on next week’s game.
“It’s a great achievement,” said Hegel, who took the SAT earlier in the morning. “But I’m really focused on Carey. I was reacting really, really. I saw the quarterback roll well and I looked at my guy right away. Let it go until the ball is thrown.”
MacArthur improved to 4-0, while Mepham suffered his first loss and is now 3-1.
MacArthur coach Bob Fehrenbach said the program’s previous record of three interceptions in a game was held by eight different players. He joked that Hegel has to start every match day the same.
“It’s pretty special,” Ferhenbach said. “I told him he has to take the SAT before every game from now on if he wants to play like this.”
Hegel’s 100-yard touchdown with 5:50 left, his first-ever interception return for a touchdown, extended the lead to 47-21 and was the finishing touch for MacArthur in a relentless effort from both sides of the ball.
In addition to Hegel’s ball-peddling manners, running back James Napoli set the tone for the offense with another remarkable performance. He ran for 314 yards and four touchdowns on 35 carries.
Napoli’s 3-yard touchdown opened the scoring and completed a 13-play, 93-yard practice for MacArthur to give the Generals a 7-0 lead with 2:12 left in the first quarter. He added two more short rushing touchdowns around a one-yard touchdown by Mepham quarterback Nicholas Honerkamp, giving MacArthur a 20-7 halftime advantage.
“The offensive line worked hard all week and they knew what they were doing,” Napoli said. “They helped me a lot.”
Napoli added another rushed touchdown in the second half, along with both quarterback Ryan Muller, as the Generals kept at least a two-possession lead the rest of the way.
After watching Hegel turn a long day into a record breaking day, Napoli didn’t need many words to describe his teammate’s performance.
“He’s a beast,” Napoli said. “That’s all.”