By Steven Zaitz
The Kings Park defense did something of a rarity on March 20 against Half Hollow Hills East.
They scored four points on two safeties. That’s a pretty neat trick.
Unfortunately for the Kingsmen, Hills East superstar Quarterback Leisaan Hibbert rushed for four touchdowns, as the Thunderbirds cruised to a 35-4 victory in this non-league matchup in Kings Park on Senior Appreciation Day. Touchdowns are much better than safeties.
The Kingsmen, having drawn two tough matchups to start the season, are now 0-2 and have been outscored by a combined 93-10. They lost this year’s opener to Sayville in a rematch of the 2019 Suffolk County Division III semifinal playoff game. In so many ways, that playoff game seems like it was a 100 years ago.
As for Hills East, in their two games, Hibbert has rushed for seven touchdowns with three against Malverne and four on this day against Kings Park. He rambled for 195 yards against the Kingsmen, running around, through, and over the K.P. defense in a variety of ways. The Kingsmen had no answer for running backs Jared Gallub and Kris Tillis either, as the Thunderbirds rolled up over 300 rushing yards on the afternoon. Tillis took the second play from scrimmage 45 yards for a touchdown and Hills East never looked back.
On this spring-like Saturday, the artificial turf and the sun might have been a factor in conditioning, but both teams had to play on the same field. The Kingsman simply got their crowns handed to them.
Kings Park starting quarterback Jonathan Borkowski was harried and hassled all day, with defensive linemen Obiri and Konadu Boadu setting up shop in the Kingsmen backfield from the opening gun — both of whom refusing to leave. Hills East had six sacks and Middle Linebacker Josh Isaacs had one of those sacks. The leading tackler on Hills East Team was Gallub with 11 tackles. James O’Melia replaced Borkowski in the 4th Quarter but fared no better.
It doesn’t get any easier for Kings Park, as they host Westhampton Beach Friday, March 26. The Hurricanes blew away Centereach 48-0 on Saturday, have won both their games and are ranked fourth in Newsday’s Top Ten Small School poll for all of Long Island.