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high school football

The Port Jefferson Royals looked to shake off last week’s shutout at the hands of Babylon during their home opener against Div. IV powerhouse Mount Sinai on Saturday, Sept. 17.

The Royals struck first when senior Anthony Pipia ripped a 65-yard TD run but led only 6-0 after they missed the point after attempt.

Midway through the second quarter, Mount Sinai’s senior quarterback Jaden Rotella threw over the middle to receiver Christopher Paz for the score. However, the Mustangs tried unsuccessfully to run the ball in for a two-point conversion, missing an opportunity to take the lead.

The Mustangs’ passer-receiver duo scored again early in the third quarter, with Paz catching a 10-yarder from Rotella for the score. But again, the Mustangs missed the two-point conversion, holding only a 12-6 lead.

With the clock running down in the fourth quarter, Port Jeff sophomore quarterback Ryan Filippi rolled out to hit Ciaran Laffey, who found the endzone to tie the game 12-12 with 1:10 left in regulation. The difference in the game would be the Royals’ kicker, Daniel Owens, who split the uprights on the point after kick to put the Royals ahead 13-12.

Despite not being at full strength, Mount Sinai attacked the Port Jeff secondary on the final possession. But the Royals held off this late game surge, securing the win.

Port Jefferson will be back in action Friday, Sept. 23, during a road game against another Div. IV powerhouse, Shoreham-Wading River. Kickoff is slated for 6 p.m.

The Mustangs are searching for their first win of the season but will have their hands full on Saturday, Sept. 24, on the road against Kings Park. Game time is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.

— Photos by Bill Landon

Senior running-back Max Barone looks for an opening for the Wildcats in the Div IV Long Island Championship game against North Shore Nov 27. Bill Landon photo

The Shoreham-Wading River Wildcats found themselves in an unusual position as the final minute ticked off at Lavalle Stadium in Stony Brook with a goose egg on the scoreboard in the Long Island Championship game against North Shore. 

The Vikings were able to move the chains with their running game while containing the Wildcats one-two punch ground game for a 7-0 victory for the Div-IV title Nov. 27. It was the only time the Wildcats were shut out this season. 

North Shore quarterback Daniel Quigley on a keeper found the endzone in the final minute of the opening quarter for a 7-0 lead that held up the rest of the way.

It was a tough weekend for Suffolk football where Nassau County captured all four championship games. Massapequa defeated Walt Whitman in D-I, Garden City beat Bellport in D-II and Plainedge edged East Islip in D-III. 

It was the Wildcats sixth appearance in eight seasons having captured four Long Island Championship trophies. 

— All photos by Bill Landon 

Miller Place senior running-back Jayden Jackson finds an opening in a home game against East Hampton/Pierson Oct 29. Photo by Bill Landon

It was all Miller Place Friday night in a Div IV matchup at home against East Hampton/Pierson Oct. 29 when the Panthers scored five unanswered touchdowns in the first half. 

Scotty Seymour, the junior running back, set the tone early with a 35-yard run for the opening score on the Panthers first offensive play. 

On the Bonacker’s ensuing possession, senior defensive back Jack Davis intercepted a pass and went the distance to lead by two scores a minute later and with Anthony Bartolotto’s foot lead 14-0. 

Three minutes later it was Bartolotto’s turn when he went the distance then kicked his own extra point for a three touch-down lead. 

In the final minutes of the quarter full-back Robert Cunningham punched in for the score to lead 28-0. East Hampton was unable to stem the flow, and on the Panthers next possession Seymour picked up a loose ball and punched in to put the Panthers out front 35-0 at the halftime break. 

Miller Place spelled its starters part way through the second half for which East Hampton/Pierson had no answer for your final 35-0. 

 The win lifts the Panthers to 6-2 and now waits for the post season playoff brackets to be posted to see who they’ll face in the opening round Nov. 5.

— Photos by Bill Landon

Kings Park senior quarterback Jonathan Borkowski #10 plows his way into the endzone for the score in a Div III road game against Comsewogue Oct 23. Bill Landon photo

The Kingsmen of Kings Park raided Warrior nation and put a damper on Comsewogue’s homecoming football game Oct 23 where the Warriors struggled to find traction. Kings Park quarterback Jonathon Borkowski punched in for the score on a keeper in the final minute of the opening quarter and followed it up four minutes later with 10-yard touchdown run to put his team out front 14-0.

On Comsewogue’s ensuing possession Kings Park cornerback Kyle Weeks stepped in front of Brady Shannon’s shovel pass for a pick six that covered 41 yards. Kings Park senior Mert Duman whose foot was perfect on the day made it 21-0 at the half. Jonathan Borkowski’s 10-yard run found the endzone midway through the 3rd quarter for the 28-0 lead. Kings Park senior Nick Laviano broke free for a 60-yard run early in the 4th for a 35-0 advantage. Shannon the senior quarterback would avoid the shutout in the closing minutes with an 11-yard run for the score and with Josh Carrolls kick concluded the game for your 35-7 final.

The win lifts Kings Park to 5-1 in Div-III while the loss drops the Warriors to 2-5. Comsewogue concludes their 2021 campaign when they retake the field Oct 29 hosting Hills West. Kings Park is also back in action on Oct 29 with a road game against East Islip. Kickoff for both games is 6 p.m.

All photos by Bill Landon 

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Comsewogue senior Josh Carroll punts the ball away in a home game against Sayville Sept 17. Credit: Bill Landon

After a scoreless first half visiting Sayville kicked a field goal at the 7:22 mark of the 3rd quarter to break the ice against Comsewogue in a D III matchup Sept 17.

Comsewogue senior Josh Carroll’s foot made it a new game with 4:45 left in the 3rd splitting the uprights on a 29 yarder to even the score.

Sayville quarterback Jack Smalley connected with Mack Murtha on a 68-yard pass play in the closing seconds of the quarter to take a 6-point lead followed by a 2-point conversion attempt that failed, for your 9-3 final.

The loss drops the Warriors 1-2 in their division while the win lifts Sayville to 2-0. The Warriors retake the field with a road game against East Islip Oct 1 at 6 p.m.

 

Shoreham-Wading River junior Max Barone breaks free and goes the distance in a road game against Mt. Sinai Mar. 19. Photo by Bill Landon

Last season, which was a year-and-a-half ago, Mount Sinai dealt Shoreham-Wading River their only loss of the regular season and the Wildcats weren’t about to let that happen again, blanking the Mustangs 28-0 on the road March 19.

Senior Johnny Schwarz found the endzone on a 36-yard pass from senior quarterback Chris Visintin and punched in again from 8 yards out for a 14-0 lead. Visintin connected with Jake Wilson on a 10-yard pass play in the 3rd quarter and found Max Barone on a 22 yarder late in the game. Jake Ekert’s foot was perfect on the night splitting the uprights all four times.

The win lifts the Wildcats to 2-0 with 3 games remaining while Mount Sinai opens their season 0-1 after they were forced to postpone their season opener due to one or more players testing positive for COVID-19.

Shoreham-Wading River is back in action in another road game against Miller Place March 26 with a 6:30 start and the Mustangs hit the road the following day against Islip. Game time is 2:00 p.m.                 Photos by Bill Landon 

 

 

 

The Newfield Wolverines went against the North Babylon Bulldogs this week to kick off football season after a year-long hiatus. Photos by Andrew Zucker

By Andrew Zucker

It was not the opening day either team was hoping for, but once the Newfield kicker’s cleat made contact with the ball, the spring 2021 season was officially on. 

For both the North Babylon Bulldogs and the Newfield Wolverines, the game on Saturday, March 13, was the first time both teams faced outside competition in over 480 days, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, shutting down all high school sports last year.

The final score, a 26-20 North Babylon victory, is a tale of two halves, and then a little more.

For most of the first quarter, North Babylon controlled the game as they held the ball for over eight minutes, driving as far as the Wolverines 16-yard line. But the Bulldogs walked away from the opening drive empty-handed as quarterback Tyler Hovanec bobbled the snap on the field goal attempt and was forced to throw away the ball or risk being sacked.

Newfield scored its first points of the season on a 71-yard run by Joe Hackal with 1:05 remaining in the first quarter. The Wolverines had the extra point attempt blocked by North Babylon, putting them 6-0, a score that stood for another five minutes.

Malachi Hunter gave the Bulldogs their first lead of the day via a hard-fought 2-yard touchdown run less than four minutes into the second quarter.

“They [North Babylon] got down early, they stuck it out, they ground back,” North Babylon head coach Terry Manning said following the game. “That’s our offense. Grind and grind, ground and pound; that’s what our nickname is, and we just took the ball and kept doing that all day long.”

Just before the end of the first half, Newfield managed to grab hold of the lead, this time via a Matt Hirsh TD. Once again, they would miss the extra point.

Take Jackson looked to give North Babylon the lead on the ensuing kickoff, taking it over 50-yards to the end zone, but the TD was negated following a Bulldogs penalty. North Babylon would not capitalize on the field position, finding themselves down 12-7 at the half. 

After halftime, everything changed — or so it seemed. 

The Bulldogs scored the only points in the third quarter, a 15-yard TD by Hunter, and headed into the final frame up 14-12.

“I want my North Babylon kids to play, to be tough, to be aggressive, to never stop,” Manning said. “And to finish strong like that, which they did, so I was pretty proud of it.”

Hunter continued his impressive performance scoring a TD in the fourth quarter, his third of the game, putting the Bulldogs up 20-12. Newfield responded with a touchdown of their own with 3:25 remaining in the game and converted the two-point conversion, knotting it up at 20 apiece.

Starting with the ball on their 44-yard line and 3:19 remaining in the game, North Babylon found themselves in a position most kids dream about. Tie game, ball in your hands, final minutes of a back and forth contest. A game, within a game.

Hovanec led the Bulldogs down the field, making their way to the Newfield 7-yard-line, before spiking the ball to stop the clock with seven seconds remaining. 

Jason Kolk missed the potential game-winning field goal with four seconds remaining, sending the game to overtime. 

In overtime, North Babylon forced a turnover on downs before DaiVon Lofton broke through the Wolverines defense for a 20-yard touchdown run to end the game. 

“Middle Country is very excited about the full return of sports,” said Middle Country Director of Physical Education, Joseph Mercado. “We feel that interscholastic sports is an integral part of a student’s education. We are working very diligently to ensure the safe return for all our students, staff and spectators. With the return of athletics, we hope all our student-athletes and spectators will have a positive and safe experience.”

Newfield (0-1) once again finds itself as the road team, when the Wolverines head to Smithtown West on Friday, March 19. Kickoff is set for 6:00  The Bulldogs (1-0) square off at Bellport on Saturday, March 20 at 2 p.m.

Centereach wide receiver Gennaro Esposito bolts to the outside eluding two Bellport defenders in the Cougar’s season opener Mar. 13. Photo by Bill Landon

The Cougars of Centereach couldn’t get traction in their season opener on the road against Bellport where the Clippers struck on a 53-yard throw to Ka’Shaun Parrish who found the endzone for the early lead. The Cougars struggled to move the chains and was unable to answer when Bellport struck again in the second quarter on a Parrish 9-yard run for a 14-0 lead that held up the rest of the way.

Centereach will look to put a “W” in the win column March 20 when they’ll take on West Islip in this Covid abbreviated five game-season at home. Kickoff is at 2 p.m.