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Warriors Sports

Mariners outlast Wyandanch on the road

Varsity - 2009 Season
Posted Friday, November 26, 2010 by 27east.com

Mariners outlast Wyandanch on the road

Publication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press
By Cailin Riley Sep 21, 2009 11:12 AM

The Southampton football team picked up its first win of the season on Thursday, beating Wyandanch 10-6 on the road to improve to 1-1 in Division IV.

There wasn’t much offense to speak of through during first half, with the only points coming off a safety after Southampton senior lineman Todd McElrath blocked a punt that landed in the end zone with five minutes left in the first quarter. The Warriors had been backed up on a previous play after a penalty for having too many men on the field.

Southampton increased its lead to 10-0 when junior running back Pat Tuths scored from two yards out and senior quarterback Lester “Duke” Pettaway scored on a two-point conversion run for Southampton at the end of the third quarter. Wyandanch avoided the shutout by scoring a touchdown in the fourth quarter with four minutes remaining, capitalizing on a hail Mary pass up the sideline.

“Unfortunately, we mistimed the jump and the receiver was able to get it,” Southampton head coach Darren Phillips said of the play.

Wyandanch opted to go for the two-point conversion, but Southampton stuffed the run, keeping the score at 10-6. On its next possession, Southampton drove the ball inside the Warriors’ 35-yard line and had a big run that was called back because of a holding penalty. The Mariners gave the ball back to Wyandanch, turning it over on downs with two minutes left in the game, but the defense forced the Warriors to go four and out and end the threat.

Phillips said he had hoped to see more from his offense, but was pleased with the way his defense played throughout the game.

“I thought our defense played outstanding,” he said. “I felt like we controlled the line. They got a few plays on us, but [sophomore lineman Malcolm Williams] and Todd were able to push the line back and force them into tackles for losses.

“On the offensive end, I just didn’t feel like we were executing our blocks,” Phillips continued. “That just can’t happen.”

Senior Donald “Noni” Williams was under center for the first half because usual starter Pettaway had been suspended by Phillips for the first half of the game. Pettaway took over in the second half and managed to get the offense moving, but Phillips said he wasn’t unhappy with Williams’ performance.

“Noni wanted the opportunity and he did a good job,” the coach said. “He just hadn’t been taking reps at all until last week.”
Southampton squandered a good chance to score when Wyandanch fumbled the kickoff and turned the ball over in the second half. The Mariners had good field position but couldn’t make anything out of it.

“We have to take advantage when we have really good field position,” Phillips said. “We have to be able to finish. We let them keep hanging around and that’s when it gets scary.”

On defense, junior linebacker Isaiah Thomas led the Mariners with 10 tackles and an interception while McElrath had five tackles and a forced fumble. Senior linebacker Jon Strumph and Tuths each had seven tackles. Tuths led the team on offense, racking up 72 yards on 17 carries while Strumph carried the ball six times for 42 yards.

Southampton will host Mt. Sinai (2-0) in its home opener on the turf field at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday. The Mustangs shut out Bayport/Blue Point 34-0 and beat Greenport/Southold/Mattituck 46-14 this season. Phillips said that while the fifth-ranked team doesn’t have the talent of a team like Babylon, it is always a threat because it consistently executes on offense and defense.

“They’re just a typical Mt. Sinai team,” Phillips said. “They’ve been running the same thing on offense and defense for years and they just execute extremely well.”

Phillips said that Mustangs running back Josh Morales will be a threat on offense. But he said if his team wants to be taken seriously in Division IV, a win over Mt. Sinai would go a long way.

“If we want to get in the top half of the division, they’re a team we’d have to beat,” he said.


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