The Huntington football appeared to be on its way to a stunning upset of rugged West Islip on Saturday at Blue Devil Stadium. Trailing 17-7 in the third quarter, the Lions looked like they would be toppled from the ranks of the undefeated. Then the tables turned; sharply.
Huntington’s ten point advantage evaporated in short order as West Islip scored 13 unanswered points, including what proved to be the game winning 20 yard field goal by placekicker Bobby DiCapua with 48 seconds remaining to stun the Blue Devils and improve to 3-0 this fall.
West Islip (3-0) scored first in the game, benefitting from mistakes by Huntington. But the Blue Devils rallied for ten second quarter points to move ahead by halftime, 10-7.
Huntington lineman Clay Jamison.
(Mike Connell photo.)
Nat Amato finally got Huntington on the scoreboard when he kicked a 25 yard field goal. Quarterback John Paci put the Blue Devils ahead a short time later when he fired a strike to Alex LaBella for a 10 yard touchdown. Amato followed with the extra point.
Huntington extended its lead to 17-7 in the third quarter on a one-yard touchdown plunge by Sebastian Abreu. Amato again followed with the extra point and everything seemed right in Blue Devil Land. But West Islip wasn’t done just yet.
The Lions, who are seeded No. 2 in 12 team Suffolk Division II, staged a furious rally to tie the game at 17-all midway through the fourth quarter. Huntington stormed right back and was on the 15 yard line and closing in on the end zone when West Islip’s Max Albanese swooped in and picked off a Paci pass.
The Lions proceeded to march 70 yards to set-up DiCapua’s game winning kick. Huntington got the ball back with 43 seconds remaining on the clock, but was unable to do much of anything.
The loss dropped the Blue Devils to 1-2. The team has been burned by penalties, mistakes and big offensive plays. “We have to keep working and keep getting better,” Huntington head coach Steve Muller said. “Win or lose, you always have to focus on the next game. We can’t look back. We have to learn from what happened on Saturday and try to prevent it from happening again.”
Huntington will take to the field again on Thursday at 3:30 when it faces Deer Park at Blue Devil Stadium. After dropping the first two games of the season to Riverhead (19-12) and Smithtown West (39-0), the Falcons bested Copiague last Saturday, 28-18.