November 01, 2006
Windy Shootout: Bonackers Fall to Westhampton
"We started off a little slow and [East Hampton] did a few things that we didn't expect," said Westhampton Beach head football coach Bill Parry during a phone interview late Sunday night as he commented on his Hurricanes' 35-14 victory over East Hampton on Sunday. "[EH] was much more physical than we expected and it took us a while to get going."
When Westhampton (4-3 in Division III) finally did "get going," it unleashed a slow, deliberate and eventually lethal ground attack partly due to both teams' inability to throw the ball because of the high winds that swept across the field at East Hampton High School.
When the final whistle had blown, the Hurricanes had rushed for a grand total of 324 yards, led by Kyle Hubbard's 148 yards on only 10 carries. One of Hubbard's runs went for a 64-yard touchdown in the opening quarter as Westhampton took a 7-6 lead following the extra-point kick and he also added a 62-yard run later in the game to help set up another touchdown.
Hurricanes' fullback Matt Heim, playing in his first game since suffering a broken fibula at the start of the season, immediately pitched in with a stellar effort on the ground, carrying the ball 13 times for 72 yards including a five-yard touchdown run in the third quarter to put Westhampton in front 28-7. Heim also had 5 tackles on defense. "We didn't think that we'd ever get him back, so it was really nice," said Parry.
East Hampton (1-6 in Division III) opened the game with an impressive drive on its first possession, putting the ball in the end zone after a four-yard touchdown run by Joe Quigley, a player that the Hurricanes found hard to bring down on Sunday.
"I thought that East Hampton played very well and early on, they moved the ball at will on us," Parry said. "They drove the field on their opening drive and scored. Quigley was fantastic."
Westhampton, needing a win to mathematically keep their slim chances at making the playoffs alive, went on to score 28 unanswered points. After Hubbard's touchdown run, Kevin Benitez found the end zone on a 20-yard scamper in the second quarter and Hurricanes' quarterback Chris Tagliavia hit Hubbard in the numbers for a three-yard scoring pass in the closing minutes of the first half as Westhampton took a 21-7 lead.
Heim's touchdown run in the third quarter was followed by an eight-yard touchdown run by East Hampton's Matt Brierley early in the fourth quarter. It was Brierley's first touchdown of the season. Heim added his second touchdown run of the day from two-yards out to close the scoring.
"We took the opening drive, moved the ball and scored," said Bonackers head coach David MacGarva. "We had a tough time towards the later part of the second quarter, but both offenses were basically moving the ball at will. Joe [Quigley] had a really good game for us. Our kids played tough. We finally moved the ball and converted some big third downs. The kids put themselves in position [to win]."
Quigley was superb every time he touched the ball for the Bonackers, rushing for a season-high 179 yards on only 16 carries including one carry that resulted in a touchdown.
Defensive standouts for Westhampton included defensive tackle Matt Wieber (7 tackles and a forced fumble) and inside linebacker John Berchin (7 tackles).
Bonackers defensive tackle Matt Paul (game-high 8 tackles) played a strong game and East Hampton's offensive line was extremely successful in opening holes for its running game with wingback D.J. Johnson making some terrific blocks to free up Quigley. Zach Brenneman added 7 tackles for the East Hampton defense.
The game, which was postponed on Saturday due to the inclement weather, was played in extremely windy conditions, making it nearly impossible to throw the ball. Tagliavia completed two of his three pass attempts for 24 yards and a touchdown for Westhampton while East Hampton did not complete a pass.
"Even with the wind at our backs, the ball was just taking off," said MacGarva.
East Hampton concludes its season with another home game on Saturday at 2 p.m. against Harborfields (3-4), which upset playoff bound Huntington (5-2 in Division III) 14-7 on Saturday. Westhampton plays at Rocky Point on Friday night.