By Steven Zaitz
The Northport Tigers Football team defeated the Smithtown Bulls on Sept. 14 in a rare Thursday afternoon matchup.
In observance of the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah, schools throughout Long Island moved up football games to Wednesday and Thursday last week. The short rest was not an issue for the Tigers, as junior quarterback Enrique Hernandez tossed two touchdown passes and senior running back Giancarlo Valenti rushed for 211 yards on 18 carries and a touchdown.
Tiger junior tailback Christian Campoli, who left the previous game early with an injury, was back in the lineup and it was he who was on the receiving end of both of Hernandez’s scoring throws. Lucas Santangelo rushed for 120 yards for Smithtown East, and senior quarterback Jake Fields was 8 for 17 for 65 yards and had a rushing touchdown.
The game started off with a bang for the Tigers as Campoli ran a down, out and up on the right sideline and hauled in a floater from Hernandez for a 63-yard touchdown on only the fifth play from scrimmage.
Smithtown East would begin the second quarter with similar explosiveness. Santangelo took a handoff straight up the gut for 66 yards on a 2nd down and 2.
A great hustle play by Campoli’s brother Michael stopped Santangelo at the 1-yard line, but Fields would tie the game on the very next play with a quarterback sneak. The half would end with the score 7-7.
It would become untied after Northport’s first possession of the third quarter when Hernandez threw a perfect strike to Christian Campoli for a 34-yard touchdown to put Northport up 14-7.
Valenti would put the game away midway through the 4th quarter when he blasted through the middle for a 49-yard touchdown, to make the score 21-7 in favor of the Tigers.
Northport is 1-1 on the season as Smithtown East falls to 0-2.