Tags Posts tagged with "Homecoming"

Homecoming

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By Bill Landon

Mount Sinai’s Jason Shlonsky threw two touchdown passes and rushed for another on the way to the Mustangs’ 34-14 homecoming win over Greenport/Southold/Mattituck Oct. 15.

The win was never in question, as Mount Sinai jumped out to an early 21-0 lead with three unanswered touchdowns by the beginning of the second quarter.

From under center, senior quarterback Shlonsky rolled to his right and threw a strike to senior wide receiver Andrew Fiore, who caught the ball in stride and advanced to the Porter’s 10-yard line. On the next play, Shlonsky ran the ball into the end zone on a 3-yard keeper play for six points. Mount Sinai junior kicker Colin McCarthy made it 7-0 seven minutes in on his point-after attempt.

“They’re actually a very good team — they came out to a really good start,” Shlonsky said of Greenport. “But we had a lot of success throwing the ball. My line gave me time to throw the ball in space, and my receivers ran great routs and [Greenport] didn’t pick up on it. So it went the way we expected.”

The pair struck again when Shlonsky dropped back and connected with Fiore for a 41-yard strike two minutes later. With McCarthy’s kick, the Mustangs edged ahead 14-0.

“My line gave me time to throw the ball in space, and my receivers ran great routs and [Greenport] didn’t pick up on it.”

— Jason Shlonsky

Mount Sinai junior running back Joseph Pirreca took a handoff up the middle next, and although had trouble finding an opening, made something out of nothing when he bounced outside and turned on the jets as he rushed the ball 38 yards for a touchdown. McCarthy, who was perfect on the afternoon, made it a 21-point game.

With the cushion, Mount Sinai head coach Vinnie Ammirato pulled his starters and went deep into his bench to get the younger athletes some playing time.

“We have a lot of young kids — a lot of kids who didn’t get a chance to play last year — so I think for us nothing ever comes easy,” Ammirato said. “But as long as we keep working hard — keep getting better every week — [we’ll be OK]. We do start a freshman four sophomores, and we only start three seniors, so every week is a work in progress.”

Mount Sinai senior Jake Knab who is ordinarily a wide receiver and a defensive back, took over as the quarterback until the halftime break.

Just as effective running the ball as throwing it, Shlonsky returned to open the second half with a 50-yard kickoff return for a first-and-10 on the Porter’s 24-yard line. The Porter’s defense stood its ground through, and took over on downs.

Greenport began a march downfield on its next possession, and finally put six points on the scoreboard with 4:49 remaining in the third stanza, on a 52-yard touchdown pass down the right sideline. The Porters chose to go for a 2-point conversion, but the Mustangs’ defensive line had other ideas, and made the block.

On the ensuing kickoff, Mount Sinai senior running back Mike Carneiro raced away with a 50-yard return, and the Mustangs went back to work on the Porters’ 38-yard line.

The two-touchdown difference prompted Ammirato to reinstate his starters. With Shlonsky back under center, the quarterback threw the ball to junior tight end Jared Donnelly, who crossed over the middle and turned it up field — dashing 13 yards into the end zone. McCarthy followed by splitting the uprights for a 28-6 advantage.

“I knew we could come back and get the job done. We’ve got the right mindset and our team is strong enough to come out, fire back at them and score again.”

— Jared Donnelly

“I wasn’t too worried [after their second score],” Donnelly said of Greenport. “I knew we could come back and get the job done. We’ve got the right mindset and our team is strong enough to come out, fire back at them and score again.”

On the ensuing kickoff, it went from bad to worse for the Porters when the kickoff return man hit a brick wall named Christian Sartori. The senior defensive lineman ripped the ball loose, and his younger brother Andrew Sartori, a sophomore linebacker, recovered it to put the Mustangs in commanding field position.

Again, Ammirato recalled his starters and Knab went back to work for the final quarter.

Mount Sinai sophomore running back Richard Harris carried the ball 18 yards and across the goal line for the final Mustangs score of the afternoon. Mount Sinai took a knee following the touchdown, foregoing the extra point in the spirit of sportsmanship.

Greenport managed one final touchdown as the clock unwound.

Carneiro led the way for the Mustangs with eight carries for 121 yards, followed by Harris with 66 yards on 11 carries and Pirreca grounded out 60 yards in five attempts. Shlonsky finished the day with 121 yards through the air.

With the win, Mount Sinai improved to 3-3 in Division IV with three games remaining before the postseason begins.

“We had a very good week of practice — we knew what we were [getting] into coming into this game, we were very prepared; we played hard,” Fiore said. “We made a couple of mistakes that we’ll have to fix to be ready for next week, which is a very important game.”

Mount Sinai hits the road Oct. 21 to play neighboring Miller Place (4-2 in league play), where Ammirato will have to find a way to contain his son, and Panthers powerhouse running back Tyler Ammirato. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.

 

By Bill Landon

The fourth quarter showed something the Tornadoes did little of all game: throwing.

Trailing by six points in the final minutes, the Harborfields football team came out hurling the ball against Rocky Point — making a push to tie — but time ran out on a fourth and long for a 20-14 homecoming loss.

Harborfields junior quarterback P.J. Clementi worked the sidelines and gained heavy yardage as the clock wound down to a minute left, airing the ball to junior wide receiver Gavin Buda, whose acrobatic catches and ability to get out of bounds after the grab brought the Tornadoes into Rocky Point’s zone. On a fourth and long, the Tornadoes were unable to convert as time expired.

“Rocky Point came out more physical than us in the beginning and that took away our [speed] and our running game, which forced us to pass, which is fine with us,” Harborfields head coach Rocco Colucci said. “These kids got a lot of heart, they fight to the bitter end no matter what the score is, no matter who we’re playing — they always believe they have a chance to win.”

Rocky Point struck first when junior running back Petey LaSalla punched into the end zone following a 22-yard run three minutes into the game. With senior quarterback Sean McGovern’s extra-point kick good, the Eagles were out front 7-0. McGovern shared the quarterback duties with junior Damian Rivera all afternoon.

“These kids got a lot of heart, they fight to the bitter end no matter what the score is, no matter who we’re playing — they always believe they have a chance to win.”

—Rocco Colucci

The Eagles struggled with their running game, and neither team scored in the second, as Rocky Point squandered a field goal attempt in the seconds before halftime.

Again, it was LaSalla who got the call to start off the scoring for the second half.

Early in the third, the junior broke several tackles, bounced outside and went the distance on a 32-yard run. McGovern’s foot put his team out front, 14-0.

LaSalla said he never doubted the outcome of the game.

“Not for a minute did we think we were going to lose,” he said. “Our defense really stepped up big today. We had a really good back field and we were able to shut them down, which forced them to throw the ball.”

After a sustained drive, Harborfields finally got on the scoreboard when senior running back Mark Malico ran off left tackle and took the ball 1 yard for six points. Harborfields senior kicker Thomas Beslity added another to make it a one-score game to trail 14-7.

“They’re always a tough team — we’ve had trouble with them in the past — obviously we had some trouble with them today,” Malico said of Rocky Point. “We turned it on [late] and we found our niche with our passing game with some nice catches on the sideline.”

On the ensuing kickoff, McGovern fielded the ball on his own 6-yard line, and sprinted up the left side, crosing midfield and jetting down the righ side line for a 94-yard kickoff return to stretch the Eagles lead to 20-7, with the extra-point attempt failing.

“We just had to stay consistent — every man has got to do their job and [not] overdo it,” McGovern said. “We battled through everything today between the turnovers and them coming back in the last two minutes, so we stayed calm and worked together.”

“We battled through everything today between the turnovers and them coming back in the last two minutes, so we stayed calm and worked together.”

—Sean McGovern

Harborfields switched to its passing attack with seven minutes remaining. Clementi worked the routes and the sideline, and connected with senior wide receiver Andrew Loiacono for a 70-yard catch and run to set up the Tornadoes’ next score. Clementi threw a screen pass to sophomore running back Thomas Sangiovanni, and he turned the corner jetted down the sideline for the touchdown. Beslity split the uprights to close the gap, 20-14.

“We analyzed our defense,” Sangiovanni said. “We had to execute the plays perfectly, we had to change a couple of things up and it worked out. [Rocky Point] just played harder than us in the end.”

Harborfields’ defense took a stand and a clock-eating drive forced the Eagles to punt with three minutes left. Rocky Point head coach Anthony DiLorenzo said he wasn’t surprised that the game was decided in the final seconds.

“We knew this was going to be a four quarter football game,” he said. “They’ve put it on film every week. We’ve done [that in only] two games so far, so our message all week was that this was going to be a four quarter game.”

Clementi went to the air picking apart the Eagles’ secondary, moving the chains downfield as he marched his team to Rocky Point’s 30-yard line with 1:37 left in the game.

On fourth down with 38 seconds, Clementi threw a strike to Buda crossing over the middle, but Rocky Point junior linebacker Alec Rinaldi knocked down the pass to seal the win.

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Hail the homecoming kings.

The Port Jefferson football team outscored Center Moriches 36-20 Oct. 8 to put a wet and wild homecoming victory into the record books.

Port Jefferson wide receiver Brian Mark started the scoring in the opening quarter when he caught a 46-yard pass from quarterback Jack Collins for the early lead. The Royals failed to make the 2-point conversion, and Center Moriches tied the score on a three-yard run after the extra-point kick attempt failed. Port Jefferson running back Joey Evangelisa rushed home a two-yard touchdown to re-extend the lead shortly after. The Royals again failed to make the two-point conversion, leaving the score 12-6 entering the second quarter.

Center Moriches scored first in the second stanza, with a touchdown on a 43-yard pass, but the two-point conversion failed. Again, the two teams were tied, this time 12-12. Wide receiver Thomas Mark, Brian’s brother, caught a 57-yard throw from Collins, and Evangelista’s run for a good two-point conversion put Port Jefferson out front 20-12.

Collins continued his strong showing when he rushed seven yards into the end zone for a touchdown in the third quarter. He completed another two-point conversion pass to bring the score to 28-12. While the Royals held Center Moriches scoreless in the third quarter, Thomas Mark got back to work, and caught a 10-yard pass for his second touchdown of the day. Evangelista rushed into the end zone to complete his third two-point conversion in the homecoming game.

Center Moriches caught a 57-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter, but the Red Devils couldn’t mount a comeback.

Thomas Mark had 67 receiving yards and 24 rushing yards. Evangelista rushed for 201 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries. Collins was 3-for-7 passing for 113 yards and three touchdowns, and rushed for 40 yards on seven attempts with a touchdown. Brian Mark made two interceptions.

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John Corpac wasted no time taking one to the house on homecoming game day.

The Ward Melville football team’s senior wide receiver, defensive back and kick returner knew if his team’s homecoming opponent, Patchogue-Medford, watched any film of his Patriots, they weren’t going to let him get his hands on the opening kickoff during their Sept. 24 contest.

“I was expecting a squib kick,” he said. “And that’s what I got.”

As the two teams collided on the opening play, Corpac picked up the ball, which the Raiders were trying to keep away from the dangerous return man, on the far right side of the field, jolted left to avoid a tackle, and, like running down an open highway, cruised all the way to the end zone for an 85-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.

“I scooped the ball up, the hole was there and I only had to beat one guy,” Corpac said. “Kick returns are my favorite thing to do. It was the best feeling.”

The Ward Melville football team benefitted from a fast start during its homecoming matchup, but a strong finish proved the Patriots are ready to put up a fight this season. The team bested the Raiders 35-22 to avenge its 2015 homecoming loss.

“Last year Northport came in here and beat up a little bit on us — we lost — so for these seniors this was big for them,” Ward Melville head coach Chris Boltrek said. “There were definitely some things that we have to clean up for the next game, but when we really needed them to step up the kids did a nice job.”

Patchogue-Medford mounted a charge up the field on its first drive following Corpac’s return touchdown, and bulled into the end zone on a 1-yard run to even the score.

“Last year Northport came in here and beat up a little bit on us — we lost — so for these seniors this was big for them.”

— Chris Bolterk

Ward Melville responded by moving the ball on its next possession, but a fumble recovered by Patchogue-Medford changed the tide. The Patriots’ defense made up for its offenses mistake, and forced Patchogue-Medford to settle for a field goal attempt, which was missed.

To open the second quarter, Ward Melville wide receiver and strong safety Eddie Munoz, who also recorded an interception, received a 29-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Wesley Manning. Munoz helped set up the score with gains of 28 yards and four yards earlier in the drive.

Manning tossed his next touchdown pass to junior running back Nick Messina. The play wouldn’t have been possible without senior cornerback and wide receiver Andrew McKenna’s second interception of the game. He also chipped in 35 yards on the ensuing drive. Messina’s 13-yard catch and senior kicker Joe LaRosa’s point after brought the score to 21-7 before halftime.

“Our special teams was excellent, our defense really came up big causing a lot of turnovers in key moments,” Boltrek said. “And offensively we did some nice things. When we got nice blocks and we scored, we threw the ball well, so there was some good and some bad, but we have to improve.”

Patchogue-Medford added seven points following another 1-yard run with 20 seconds to go in the third to pull closer, but Messina rushed the ball 52 yards for a touchdown with 6.5 seconds on the clock to re-extend the Patriots’ advantage.

Shortly into the final stanza, Messina rushed home another touchdown, this time taking the ball 22 yards to help his team jump out in front, 35-14.

“On those few plays the line did exactly what they needed to do,” Messina said. “If we could do that more often we could go far, and score more touchdowns.”

Boltrek said his team needs to clean up the blocking up front going forward, though he was impressed with his running back’s performance.

“Nick is a kid we all depend on because of his speed and his athleticism, and it’s warranted,” Boltrek said. “He had two breakaway touchdowns, he did a nice job catching along the backfield, so he did really well for us.”

Manning completed 15 of 22 passes for 240 yards, including two touchdowns. He said all the players were confident coming into the homecoming game after a strong week of practice. He said he enjoyed showing the team could get the job done through the air, and in the second half, on the ground, too.

“The feeling kept getting better and better as the game went on,” he said. “It’s great to win on your senior homecoming. There’s really nothing better. I think we’re really going to carry on momentum. We had a tough loss against Longwood and now we just have to keep the momentum going next week against Floyd.”

Ward Melville travels to William Floyd Oct. 1 for a 2 p.m. kickoff.

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By Bill Landon

Comsewogue hosted Hauppauge on Sept. 24, and it was only fitting that the Warriors’ homecoming battle on the gridiron snapped a 10-game losing streak, dating back to the 2015 season.

The Warriors hadn’t won a football game since 2014.

Having dropped the first two games of the season, Comsewogue was on a long string of defeats — so the team was desperate for a win. After squandering a 14-point lead late in the game, the Comsewogue defense stood its ground, and stopped a late-game drive by the Eagles that would have tied the game with seconds remaining, and the Warriors escaped with a 27-21 victory.

“We can never finish games and we were due for this,” senior quarterback Anthony Guardiano said. “We were due to win this game and we did it. We did it as a team. We’ve been busting our butts this week, and we’ve been so much more disciplined than we were last season. We honestly deserved this, and that it was homecoming, made it even better.”

The quarterback pulled double duty on the afternoon, running for 134 yards and rushing in two touchdowns, while snagging a crucial interception in the third quarter to stall a Hauppauge drive that changed the momentum of the game.

After Guardiano scored the first touchdown of the game on a 47-yard run, Kai Cochrane got the call, and pounded the ball up the middle — like he did most of the afternoon — to the second touchdown of the game on a 1-yard run. Although the extra-point attempt by senior kicker Shane Wolff failed following the second touchdown, the Warriors found themselves out front, 13-0.

“We were due to win this game and we did it. We did it as a team. We’ve been busting our butts this week, and we’ve been so much more disciplined than we were last season. We honestly deserved this, and that it was homecoming, made it even better.”

— Anthony Guardiano

The margin of victory could’ve been much greater, had the Warriors not committed as many mistakes as they did. Twice, touchdown passes from Guardiano connected with his open wide receiver, senior Tyler Timpanaro, who came down with the ball in the end zone, but both times the play was called back because of penalties.

On Comsewogue’s next possession, Cochrane, a junior running back and linebacker, broke to the outside and went the distance for the score, only to have the ball called back on a holding penalty. Instead, Hauppauge scored on its ensuing drive to close the gap, 13-7.

Guardiano made things interesting when he sprinted down the right sideline for a first down following a fake punt on a third-and-out, but the Warriors couldn’t capitalize on the opportunity. Both teams traded possession and neither team could score in the third, but Cochrane found the end zone a minute into the fourth quarter on a 14-yard run. He then bulled his way up the middle for a successful 2-point conversion for a 21-7 advantage.

“After halftime, we made adjustments — the coaches got together and made some [changes] offensively and defensively,” Comsewogue head coach Sean Tremblay said. “You can have any scheme you want, and they’re all sound, but it all boils down to the kids who have to execute it.”

Hauppauge discovered a weakness in the Comsewogue secondary, and moved to the air, tossing the ball to open receivers as the Eagles moved the chains down the field. Hauppauge’s quarterback hit his open receiver down the right sideline for a score with nine minutes left in the game, and with the point-after attempt successful, drew his teamwithin six points, to trail 21-14.

On the ensuing kickoff, Comsewogue coughed up the ball and Hauppauge recovered in strong field position. The Eagles marched downfield for another score, and tied the game 21-21 at the 7:31 mark, after the extra-point kick was good.

With 5:15 left in regulation, Guardiano took matters into his own hands and traveled outside on a broken play, running 63 yards for a touchdown. The 2-point conversion attempt failed, and as the clock unwound, the Eagles went back to their aerial offense, finding open receivers over the middle for short yardage as they marched down the field. With 18 seconds on the clock, Hauppauge knocked on Comsewogue’s door, advancing the ball to the 9-yard line. With eight seconds left, the team completed another pass over the middle to move to the 3-yard line. The Eagles tried to get another play in, but a tackle on the 1-yard line prevented a score as time expired.

“This was an emotional win — we needed it badly because were going on 700 days without a win,” Cochrane said. “Today’s win was beautiful, especially on homecoming weekend. We need to stop the mental errors, and we need to keep this momentum going.”

With a new school year around the corner, look back at Port Jefferson alumni through the years

Richard Olson taught U.S. History in the Port Jefferson school district from 1967-2002. He also served as the yearbook advisor from 1988-2014.

During that time, he amassed a collection of photos from events like homecoming, prom and class trips. With a new school year set to begin, take a look back at alumni from eras gone by.

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By Bill Landon

The Mount Sinai Mustangs made short work of visiting East Hampton-Bridgehampton on the football field Saturday afternoon, shutting out the Bonackers, 33-0, in a victory that was icing on the cake for the host team’s homecoming celebration.

It was a lopsided game after Mount Sinai scored its fourth unanswered touchdown, and rather than kick the extra point, the Mustangs took a knee to arrest the scoring fest at 27-0.

Mount Sinai head coach Vinnie Ammirato rested his starters and flushed his bench, as every available player on his 35-man roster saw action the rest of the way.

On their first possession of the game, the opposing team was forced to punt on three and out.

With the game less than two minutes old, Mount Sinai senior running back Christian Knab fielded the ball then found a hole, bounced to the outside and went the distance for the score. With the extra point, the Mustangs took the early 7-0 lead.

“We played our hardest — everyone played their best,” Knab said. “We came out and we did what we’re supposed to do.”

The Bonackers, fielding just 18 players and losing two to injury during the game, used every available player on their bench out of necessity. Again, unable to move the chains, the opposing team was forced to punt.

Mount Sinai senior wide receiver Griffin McGrath went 64 yards for the next touchdown, and after another East Hampton-Bridgehampton three and out, junior wide receiver Jake Knab fielded a clean ball and took it all the way down the stretch for the team’s third touchdown.

“I caught the ball and there was a good wall set up [in front of me so] I followed the wall,” McGrath said. “And it was clear all the way to the end zone.”

Jake Knab took over at quarterback for junior R.J. Maher the rest of the way.

“This game was unusual — first string starters usually come out and sometimes second string goes in,” Knab said. “Today was a fun game for me because I rarely play.”

Early in the second quarter, Mount Sinai junior running back John Paolella plowed up the middle to find the end zone for another six points.

“We played well all around and second teamers got their chance today,” Paolella said. “It was a chance to play at homecoming and we made the most of it.”

As the kicking team took to the field for the point-after attempt, Ammirato barked the play from the sideline, and the Mustangs lined up as if they were going for two, but took a knee to keep the score 27-0.

“We don’t want to score anymore,” Ammirato said from the sideline. “Let’s keep the score reasonable.”

The Mustangs non-starters couldn’t control themselves, and freshman running back Liam McGrath, who was brought up from the junior varsity squad to play in the game, was not to be stopped as he raced with the ball down the left sideline for the final touchdown of the afternoon. Choosing not to attempt the point after, Mount Sinai again took a knee to hold the score at 33-0.

With the win, the Mustangs improve to 6-1, vying for second place in League IV with John Glenn. The Mustangs will battle John Glenn on the gridiron Saturday in the last game of the regular season, to break the tie.

“Everyone is going to work their hardest and put in the extra work in practice,” Christian Knab said, for his Mustangs team to be able to top John Glenn. “And we’ll have to see what happens on Halloween.”

Ammirato said that the best part of the homecoming win is that everyone on his bench saw action.

“Just getting everyone in the game — I love when that happens,” the head coach said. “These kids come to practice every day and work just as hard sometimes they get in the game sometimes they don’t, and today they got a chance to play some quality minutes at homecoming in front of a big crowd; getting their names announced.”

Ammirato said that because the junior varsity game was cancelled, it presented an even bigger opportunity, bringing up some sophomores and freshman that saw some action, too.

Griffin McGrath is ready to see his team claim the No. 2 spot.

“We’ll have to work hard in practice this week and watch film,” he said. “And we’ll have to execute the coaches’ game plan to the letter.”

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Senior running back Bryan Hurley and sophomore running back Kai Cochrane each run for over 120 yards for the Warriors in the loss

By Joe Galotti

Coming off back-to-back blowout losses, the Comsewogue football team showed plenty of fight in their homecoming matchup against Hauppauge Saturday, but ultimately came up short on the scoreboard, falling 35-21. Senior running back Bryan Hurley and sophomore running back Kai Cochrane each ran for over 120 yards for the Warriors in the loss.

“We dug ourselves a hole with turnovers in the first half,” Comsewogue head coach Sean Tremblay said. “We battled back into the fourth quarter, but some untimely penalties and poor third and fourth down defense really cost us.”

The Warriors also lost starting junior defensive end Andy Suarez for the season in the game, after he suffered a broken leg in the third quarter. Suarez marks the fifth starter Comsewogue has seen go down with a season-ending injury this year.

“We’ve been playing with a lot of guys that at the beginning of the season weren’t starters,” Tremblay said. “But to the kids’ credit, they’re still fighting.”

After falling behind early in their previous two games, the Warriors did the same against the Eagles. Hauppauge opened the game’s scoring in the first quarter with a 5-yard touchdown pass by quarterback Thomas Balcom to  wide receiver Dominic Paresi. In the second quarter, Balcom and Paresi connected in the end zone again, this time, on a 10-yard reception.

Hurley got Comsewogue back in the game with a 1-yard rushing touchdown, cutting the Eagles lead to just 14-7 at the halftime break.

“All eleven guys [on offense] played their hearts out on every play,” he said. “Our line was able to get a great push, and when our backs weren’t running the ball, we blocked for each other.”

After a scoreless third quarter, Hauppauge’s star running back, Marcus Bisono, began to take over the game. The senior delivered a 15-yard and 10-yard rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter.

The running backs for the Warriors also stepped up in the final 12 minutes of the game. Hurley and Cochrane each registered a touchdown run as Comsewogue trailed by just seven points late in the contest.

But, the duo of Balcom and Paresi would come up big again for the Eagles. Balcom delivered a 60-yard touchdown pass to his wideout, a play that would secure the win for Hauppauge.

While the Warriors defense as a whole struggled to contain the Eagles, Tremblay said senior defensive back Austin Haynia was a standout in the game. The senior defended two passes, and came up with several key tackles. Tremblay also liked what he saw from Suarez, before he exited the game.

On the flip side of the ball, Comsewogue’s head coach was very pleased with what his team was able to do on the ground.

“If there’s any silver lining to losing the game, it’s that we ran the ball very well,” Tremblay said. “I was happy offensively.”

Cochrane agreed.

“The offensive line did a great job getting off the ball quickly and creating holes so our backs could make the right cuts and get first downs,” he added.

The Warriors’ fan base showed their passion for the team on Saturday. Even with Comsewogue entering its homecoming weekend without a win, the school’s supporters created an exciting atmosphere for the game.

“The community is fantastic; they always come out and support,” Tremblay said. “With us entering the game at 0-4, it would have been easy for them just to stay home, or just do the parade and go home. But, they all came to the game and cheered us on till the very end.”

Even at 0-5 in Division III, the season is far from over for the Warriors. Entering as the No. 7 seed will help Comsewogue’s standing come playoff time, and if the team is able to win at Harborfields next week, and come away with a win in one of its final two games against highly ranked and undefeated Sayville and East Islip, a postseason berth would still be a possibility.

Harborfields ties game to end 3rd quarter, Eagles score three touchdowns to pull away, 48-33

By Bill Landon

The Rocky Point football team pulled out a 48-33 victory in Saturday’s homecoming game, halting a late rally by visiting Harborfields, which tied the game at 27-27 after three quarters of play. The Eagles watched their first-half 27-12 advantage disappear in the third quarter, to make it a new game in the final 12 minutes of play. Rocky Point was able to outscore its opponent with three touchdowns in the final quarter in front of a capacity crowd, to move to 2-3 in Division III.

Rocky Point sophomore running back Peter LaSalla broke free from the line of scrimmage four minutes into the game and jetted down the left sideline for a 60-yard touchdown run and the first score of the game. Although the extra-point attempt failed, the team took an early 6-0 lead.

A minute later, the Tornadoes were unable to convert on downs, and punted the ball away to junior receiver Sean McGovern, who returned the punt 65 yards for the Eagles’ second touchdown of the game.

“We got a big play from Sean on that punt return,” Rocky Point senior quarterback Harrison Lynch said.

McGovern, also the kicker, finished what he started, and split the uprights to help his team break out to a 13-0 lead.

Harborfields answered back when quarterback Cody Cunningham, on a keeper, punched in for the score, but the Eagles blocked the extra-point kick attempt, to trail the Eagles, 13-6.

Lynch and sophomore Damian Rivera shared quarterback duties all afternoon, and Rivera, under center, passed the ball over to Lynch, who broke outside and went the distance for the touchdown. McGovern’s point-after was good, and the Eagles stretched their lead to 20-6.

Harborfields, on the longest sustained drive of the afternoon that consumed four minutes off the clock, ended its march across the field with a score, despite a penalty-plagued campaign that included a 15- yard unsportsmanlike conduct call. The extra-point kick attempt failed again, and the Tornadoes settled for a 20-12 deficit with just over two minutes left in the half.

Rocky Point looked to put the game away when Lynch, on a play-action pass, found LaSalla open down the right sideline. The running back gathered it in on a catch-and-run play, and recorded a 46-yard score. With the point after, the Eagles took a 27-12 advantage into the halftime break, but that lead didn’t last for long.

Harborfields moved the chains to open the second half only to cough the ball up four minutes in, as Rocky Point took possession on their own 25-yard line. Unable to capitalize, the Tornadoes were on the move again.

On a play-action pass, Harborfields quarterback Cody Cunningham found wide receiver Christian Mullings in the end zone for the score, and after a successful two-point conversion, made it a one-score game, 27-20.

On Rocky Points’ ensuing possession, the Eagles fumbled and Harborfields recovered the ball on the 34- yard line with less than four minutes remaining in the third quarter. On the second play from scrimmage, the Tornadoes cashed in and tied the game 27-27.

McGovern said he was surprised that Harborfields was able to even the score.

“It was a little bit of a shock, but we knew we could get back in it,” McGovern said. “Harry Lynch led us — he motivated. He sure can play; he’s a baller.”

Moving into the fourth quarter, the Eagles knew they had to finish the game the way they started.

“We just had to keep going, so we started the fourth like it was 0-0,” LaSalla said. “We put up the first two touchdowns [to start the game], so we knew we could do it again.”

The Eagles went to work in the final 12 minutes., and Lynch got the ball moving when he fired deep to the senior running back Paul Dominguez for a touchdown pass, as Rocky Point jumped back out in front, 34-27.

Cunningham looking to retie the game, and dropped back to pass, but had to check down, or look for his secondary receivers, and was blindsided just as he released the ball. Rocky Point junior tight end and defensive back Brendan Heggers found himself under the ill-fated pass, and grabbed possession for the interception.

“We came out a little flat after halftime,” Lynch said, “but we picked it up after that interception, and just got things rolling after that.”

The Eagles wasted no time in cashing in on Harborfield’s miscue, and sophomore running back Alec Rinaldi plowed his way up the middle to find the end zone. McGovern split the pipes once again, and the Eagles surged ahead 41-27 with seven minutes left to play.

Harborfields wouldn’t go quietly, and Cunningham bulled his way up the middle for six points, but the extra-point attempt missed. Rocky Point put the game away with just under two minutes remaining when Rinaldi struck again, and the successful point-after brought the final score to 48-33.

“Harborfields is a tough team,” Lynch said. Opening the fourth quarter, the quarterback said: “We gotta get it done. We’ve just gotta find a way to get it done; it’s as simple as that.”

And the Eagles did.

Rocky Point will hit the road Saturday as the team heads to Miller Place. Opening kickoff is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.

Two Smithtown High School East coaches were trapped in a bucket truck during a homecoming football game. Photo by Steve Silverman

Two Smithtown High School East football coaches got stuck 30 feet in the air on Saturday when their hydraulic lift malfunctioned during a homecoming game.

Dix Hills firefighter Jacquelyn Stio helps coach Tim Kopiske to safety after the Smithtown High School East football coach got stuck in a malfunctioning bucket truck at a homecoming game. Photo by Steve Silverman
Dix Hills firefighter Jacquelyn Stio helps coach Tim Kopiske to safety after the Smithtown High School East football coach got stuck in a malfunctioning bucket truck at a homecoming game. Photo by Steve Silverman

The Dix Hills Fire Department came to the rescue that afternoon on the turf of the coaches’ rival, Half Hollow Hills High School East, where they were suspended in a truck’s bucket, according to Steve Silverman, a spokesman for the Town of Huntington Fire Chiefs’ Council. The volunteer firefighters brought their 75-foot ladder truck to get the coaches down, as well as other fire engines, three ambulances and first responder and paramedic units.

Personnel from the Dix Hills Rescue Squad were already on the scene with an ambulance, as they were standing by during the first football game of the season.

Silverman said the rescue was a brother-sister effort: firefighter Matt Stio climbed up and helped coach Tyler O’Neill onto the ladder and down to safety, and then sister Jacquelyn Stio scaled the ladder to do the same for coach Tim Kopiske.

The entire operation was quick, Silverman said. It was just three minutes before the firefighters were on the scene, and the coaches were brought back down to terra firma within another 15 minutes.

No one was injured.