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Homecoming

It rained on Port Jefferson’s Homecoming football game Saturday afternoon in more ways than one, as a steady downpour fell on the grass field in the matchup against Center Moriches. 

The visitors broke the ice in the opening quarter, finding the end zone on short yardage and finishing it with a 2-point conversion for the early lead. Port Jeff quarterback Ryan Filippi answered back when he punched into the end zone on a keeper from 7 yards out, but the point after kick struck the left upright. Center Moriches found the end zone again with two minutes left in the half to make it a two-score game. 

Neither team was able to gain traction in the second half as Port Jeff fell 16-6 as time ran out in the Oct. 14 Division IV clash.

The Royals (2-4) will look to put another “W” in the win column with a road game against Mattituck/Greenport/Southold Friday Oct. 20. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.

Michael Campoli celebrates his touchdown with Connor Henigman, No. 50, and Giancarlo Valenti. Photo by Steven Zaitz

By Steven Zaitz

It is difficult to determine which was more a bummer for Huntington High School and its football team this past Saturday — the unrelenting rain that drenched players, fans and guests of its Homecoming festivities, or the beatdown the Blue Devils suffered at the hands of the Northport Tigers.

Tiger running back Michael Campoli rushed for 180 yards and two touchdowns as Northport defeated Huntington 30-13, Oct. 7. The Tigers improve to a record of 2-3 as the Blue Devils are still looking for their first win of the season as they drop to 0-5.

Northport’s game plan from the very beginning of the game was obvious — run the ball down the Blue Devils’ throats. The Tigers ran 11 straight plays after receiving the opening kickoff and all of them were on the ground. Campoli ran six times for 76 yards, and he finished the drive with a 9-yard score.

Northport would score again in the second quarter but this time it was the defense that registered the points. Linebacker Ben Pipolo would stop Blue Devil halfback David Djebi in the Huntington end zone for a safety and give the Tigers a 9-0 lead with just over nine minutes remaining in the half.

As the rain became more ferocious, Northport got sloppier with the handling of the ball. The Tigers fumbled twice on their next two possessions and the Devils took advantage of the second turnover. Djebi slipped a tackle and sloshed 38 yards down to the Tiger 1-yard line and quarterback Joey Zink snuck it in to make the score 9-6.

But another 11-play drive by Northport to close the half put them up 16-6. Quarterback Simon Blissett completed his only pass of the afternoon on the march, and it was a big one. He threw a rainbow down the right sideline to his brother Calvin for 28 yards to the 4. Campoli slid into the end zone on the next play.

Two explosive plays, one by each side, highlighted the second half. On the first play of the 4th quarter, Djebi broke four tackles on his way to a 91-yard touchdown run that made the score 23-13 but this was quickly negated by kick returner Luke Loiacono who broke a few tackles of his own while bringing back the ensuing kickoff 89 yards to the house. It was the final scoring of the afternoon.

Northport will attempt to win two games in a row for the first time this year when the team travels to Bellport this weekend. Huntington tries again to get into the win column when it hits the road to Deer Park.

#12 Quarterback Charlie McKee led to the team to victory on Saturday. Photo from Stony Brook Athletics

The Stony Brook football team used a dramatic second half comeback to defeat Maine, 28-27, and secured a win on Homecoming, Oct. 22. The Seawolves were led by freshman quarterback Charlie McKee who helped Stony Brook outscore Maine, 21-7, in the second half en route to victory.

The team open the second half by forcing a three and out. On the ensuing drive, the Seawolves marched right down the field and McKee found redshirt sophomore wide receiver RJ Lamarre for a 10-yard touchdown pitch and catch to cut Maine’s lead to 20-14.

#12 Quarterback Charlie McKee led to the team to victory on Saturday. Photo from Stony Brook Athletics

The Black Bears responded by punching right back with a touchdown of their own as Elijah Barnwell found the end zone from 12 yards out to put Maine ahead once again by two scores, 27-14. From that point forward, Stony Brook closed the door and went on to score 14 unanswered points to secure the 28-27 win.

After Maine’s score in the third quarter, the Seawolves put together an 11-play, 75-yard drive to punch in their third touchdown of the night. The drive was capped off by McKee finding redshirt junior tight end Tyler Devera from a yard out to make it 27-21.

Stony Brook was knocking on the door, with the momentum shifting in the favor of Long Island’s team following Devera’s touchdown. The Seawolves seized full momentum in the game when they picked up a crucial fourth down stop with 8:32 to play in the contest.

Redshirt junior defensive back Shamel Lazarus and graduate linebacker Reidgee Dimanche stuffed Maine’s Kobay White who caught a pass near the line of scrimmage, the Stony Brook duo blew up the play in the backfield and forced a turnover on downs.

McKee led the Seawolves’ offense right down the field as he orchestrated a seven-play, 68-yard drive that resulted in graduate wide receiver Khalil Newton hauling in what proved to be the game-winning touchdown with a miraculous seven-yard touchdown catch.

Maine had one last crack at it, but the Seawolves’ defense stood strong as they forced Cole Baker to miss what would have been the go-ahead field goal from 46 yards out.

The team is back on the gridiron on Oct. 29, when they travel up north to face UAlbany in the battle for the Golden Apple. 

By Deniz Yildirim

Last weekend, Comsewogue celebrated Homecoming, and students participated in Spirit Week all week to show their school spirit. 

Spirit week kicked off Tuesday after schools were closed Monday for Columbus Day. Tuesday was “Character Day,” Wednesday was “Decades Day,” followed by “America Day” on Thursday, and “Class Color Day” on Friday. In addition, students competed in a hallway decorating contest and a trivia contest. 

On Friday, students followed a shortened bell schedule so the entire school could participate in this year’s pep rally. At noon, students made their way from the classrooms to the bleachers, then players of all sports teams were announced and cheered. Between the name announcements, students and teachers participated in fun games such as a relay race, a mummy wrap, and a timeless favorite, musical chairs. 

Then Saturday was the highly anticipated Homecoming Game. Easily conveyed by unique grade-level floats, the theme for this year was movies. Freshmen crafted a special “Lego Movie” themed float. Sophomores were inspired by the movie “Up.” Juniors chose the film “Toy Story.” Seniors created an “Alice in Wonderland” float. 

The festivities started with a Costume Fun Run at 10 a.m. Participants dressed up as their favorite characters and ran around the high school track for as long as they chose. By noon, the Homecoming Parade was in full swing.

Launched from JFK Middle School, parade marchers included the PJSTA Teachers Union; the Comsewogue School District Board of Education;  Jennifer Quinn, superintendent of schools; and Town of Brookhaven Councilmember Jonathan Kornreich (D-Stony Brook). 

The Terryville Fire Department also joined the procession, making its way down Jayne Blvd, heading for the high school, and throwing candy to spectators along the way. 

Once the procession reached the high school, all enjoyed a homecoming carnival. Children had their faces painted by teachers, spent some time in a bouncy house, or tried to ‘sink’ an educator in the dunk tank. This was the second “normal” Homecoming since the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted in-person social gatherings. And it was even bigger than last year’s event. 

Teachers, administrators, and parents volunteered much of their time to make this event possible. “We believe Homecoming is really enjoyed by everyone,” said principal Mike Mosca, “It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it.” 

Part of the Comsewogue district’s mission is to promote inclusivity. For this reason, the Special Education Parent Teacher Association had organized a designated “Quiet Area” for students with sensory sensitivities. 

At 4 p.m., just before kickoff, Hall of Fame inductees were recognized on the field. Earlier that day, these stars enjoyed a luncheon inside the school, where plaques were unveiled.

Quinn was pleased with the celebration: “It’s always fun whenever families and teachers get together like this,” she said.

— Photos courtesy CSD

Students from the Port Jefferson School District. Photo courtesy PJSD

In preparation for Port Jefferson’s Homecoming game on Saturday, Oct. 22, the varsity cheerleaders, along with coach Sharon Gatz, hosted a cheerleading clinic for students in grades 1-6.

More than 30 students attended the clinic on Thursday, Oct. 20, where they learned an exciting cheerleading routine. The cheer clinic attendees will show off their skills with a performance during halftime of this weekend’s Homecoming football game.

“The cheer clinic was a great idea of Coach Sharon,” athletic director Adam Sherrard said. “It helped promote the cheer program, fostered relationships between students of different ages in the school district and will add to the positive environment of Homecoming.”

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The threat of rain couldn’t damper the spirit of students and faculty at Smithtown High School East for the Oct. 1 homecoming game.

Students, families, staff and community members turned out to cheer on the East football team as the Bulls faced off against Connetquot.

The football teams’ offense and defense were well-matched, but the Bulls rally fell short, falling 13-7.

The halftime show featured a performance by the East Whisperettes kickline followed by the homecoming court to announce the 2022 king and queen — Jacob Wood and Alyssa DeGregory.

It was an extra special day for Jacob, who also celebrated his birthday on that day.

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 

It was all Kings Park in their homecoming game against Harborfields, where the Kingsmen dominated from the opening kickoff to blow out the Tornadoes, 34-7, Oct 9.

Senior quarterback Jonathan Borkowski teamed up with John Matthew for two touchdown throws a 14 yarder and a 26-yard pass and run play. Nico Laviano grounded out the yardage with a pair of touchdowns of his own a short yardage score and a 15-yard run. Kings Park’s James O’Melia punched in from short yardage in the win.  

Kings Park enters their bye-week and are back in action Oct. 23 with a road game against Comsewogue at 3 p.m. The Tornadoes retake the field with a home game against Eastport South Manor Oct. 15. Game time is 6:30 p.m.  

Defense was the story of the game Oct. 19 when Centereach senior Matt Robbert broke the ice when he punched in on short yardage for the touchdown midway through the second quarter. Robbert then kicked an extra point to make it 7-0.

Smithtown East struggled offensively, and it wasn’t until junior running back Tyler Pohlman punched in on a short run for the Bulls with under two minutes left. Needing the extra point to retie the game, the kick was partially blocked and the Cougars held on for a 7-6 win, dampening the Bulls’ homecoming celebration.

Eric Harrington got the call time and time again grinding out 107 yards on 20 carries for the Cougars, while Robbert gained 55 yards in 10 attempts.

The win lifts Centereach to 3-3 who hit the road against Connetquot Oct. 25 before returning home to face Half Hollow Hills East Nov. 1.

Smithtown East slips to 2-4 and must win out against Half Hollow Hills East Oct. 26 and Northport Nov. 2 for any hopes of postseason play.

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PJ Royals Win in Homecoming Blowout

Port Jefferson homecoming football game against Greenport/Southold/Mattituck Oct. 5. Photo by Bill Landon

The weekend of Oct. 4-6 was one of purple and Royals pride. Hundreds swarmed through Port Jefferson during the annual parade, and more gathered in the Joe Erland Field for fun and games, as the Village of Port Jefferson, Port Jefferson School District, Port Jefferson Free Library and local residents combined their efforts to put on a huge blowout celebration.

When it came to the game at 2 p.m. Oct. 5, it was a Royal’s rout when Greenport/Southold/Mattituck came calling and was blown out by Port Jefferson 62-0. From the opening kickoff it was all Port Jeff as wide receiver Aidan Kaminska proved unstoppable as the senior found the end zone three times, along with teammates Luke Verruto and Luke Filippi who each had a pair of touchdowns. Junior Alex Ledesma split the uprights eight times for the extra point.Senior quarterback Sam Florio, who was healthy after missing last week’s game against Mount Sinai, threw for over 250 yards with four TD passes in the Div. IV matchup.

The win lifts the Royals to 2-3 with three games remaining before the post season and are back in action with a road game against Elwood John Glenn Oct. 12. Kickoff is at 1:30pm.