After a slow start, the Huntington football team’s offense aired it out at Copiague on Saturday, accumulating large chunks of yardage on the ground and in the air and going on to topple the Eagles on their home field on Homecoming Day, 41-0.
Copiague came out roaring and gave the Blue Devil defense fits in the opening quarter. The Eagles moved the ball and kept Huntington on its toes, which finally clamped down when it had to in order to prevent a touchdown.
“Copiague was definitely on fire early,” Huntington head coach Steve Muller said. “It forced us to quickly clean up some mistakes in coverage and play disciplined football. They have some quick and talented kids. They looked very good early in the game.”
Following a scoreless first quarter, the Big Blue started to hum. Huntington scored all of its points in the second and third quarters. Eric Sands (six carries for 151 yards) scored three touchdowns on runs of 12, 35 and 65 yards. Sebastian Abreu (25 carries for 171 yards) and Sam Bergman both scored on two yard runs and quarterback John Paci (six completions for 66 yards) hit Jaylen Bush with a 40 yard scoring strike.
Nat Amato, Eric Sands and Tazadon Smith
at Saturday's game. (Darin Reed photo.)
Placekicker Nat Amato also enjoyed a remarkable afternoon. Huntington’s All-County soccer goalie continued his magical season with the Blue Devil football team.
Amato successfully converted five extra points, but that part was expected. What was a surprise was when the teenager showed he can do much more than boot the ball. After kicking off, Amato twice made tackles on returns that would have otherwise resulted in touchdowns.
After falling to North Babylon last Saturday in the season opener, 32-7, Huntington finally got its offense of the ground and flying high. Luke Eidle had three receptions for 19 yards and Bush hauled in a pair of passes for 53 yards. Colby Martin also caught a pass for six yards.
Aaron McQueen led the Blue Devil with seven tackles and an interception. McQueen also rushed three times for 12 yards.
“The team played decent in the first half, but then in the second half everyone turned it up and finished them off,” Paci said.
Copiague seemed to get a boost playing in front of a large and friendly Homecoming Day crowd, but Huntington proved to be more than the Eagles could handle. “I thought it was a great game,” Sands said. “We came together as a team for our first win of the season.”
Huntington hosts powerful West Islip on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. The Lions are 2-0 after defeating Smithtown West (26-7) and Newfield (20-14) in the first two weeks of the season.
“West Islip is always a well-coached team,” Muller said. “We expect them to play very hard against us. They always do. It’s our intention to get in good practices all week and be ready for them.”