October 04, 2006

Southampton Topples Mercy at Home

Quarterback Zach Antilety had another fantastic performance for the Mariners as he continued to establish himself as one of the premier passers on Long Island. Antilety picked apart the Monarchs' (0-3 in Division IV) secondary last Saturday, completing 16 of the 24 passes he attempted for 229 yards and two touchdowns to lead Southampton (1-2 in Suffolk Division IV) to a 28-7 win over Mercy at Southampton High School. It was the Mariners' first win of the 2006 season. Last season the team was a finalist in the Suffolk Division IV title.

"When we give [Antilety] time to throw the ball, he can pick apart any defense," noted Southampton's head coach Darren Phillips. "We have four guys that can all run good routes and catch the ball. The key is our blocking [which was very good today]. Zach stayed in the pocket and made some good decisions."

Mercy scored the first points of the game when it returned a fumble 43 yards for a touchdown in the opening quarter only to see Troy Pender help tie the score at 7-7 with a 45-yard punt return for a touchdown.

Pender had a terrific game on offense as well, making six catches for 71 yards and rushing for 30 yards on seven carries. Southampton took a 14-7 at halftime when Antilety connected with speedy wide receiver Jason Halsey on a 25-yard touchdown pass and then broke the game open in the third quarter.

B.J. Warner scored his first varsity touchdown in the third quarter after breaking through the Monarchs' defensive line for a six-yard scoring run and Antilety recorded his sixth touchdown pass in three games after hooking up with junior fullback Shaun Dillon on a six-yard score. It was also Dillon's first varsity touchdown.

The fourth quarter was scoreless as Southampton's defense clamped down led by linebacker Kevin Mockler who made a game-high 10 tackles and added a sack. "We moved him [Mockler] inside and we went back to our 4-3 defense and he played great back in his natural position," Phillips said. Halsey (fumble recovery), Dillon and Brendan Lenahan were also defensive standouts in Saturday's game.

"I was glad to get a win . . . that always helps, but we have to do a better job at handling the football," Phillips said. Southampton committed three turnovers in the game. "Overall, I thought we played well, but next week will be a much tougher test."

The Mariners play defending Division IV champion Babylon on Friday night (7 p.m.) at Babylon High School. The Panthers, which return 20 starters from a team that needed a field goal in overtime to defeat Southampton in the title game last November in front of a large crowd at Stony Brook University, are 3-0 this season.

"Babylon has dominated their first three opponents, but I think that these types of games are the challenges that we want," said Phillips. "I hope we're up for it. We'll have to play an almost perfect game because we can't afford to turn the ball over against that team. Babylon has set the standard in our division for the past 10 years. If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best. A win will really help with our confidence. Our players know that on any given week, anybody can beat anybody."

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