The Huntington varsity football team is regrouping after a season opening loss at North Babylon. While the Blue Devil offense struggled for consistency, the defense outperformed expectations. The Bulldogs won in overtime, 13-7.
Huntington hosts West Babylon on Saturday at Blue Devil Stadium at 1:30 p.m. The Eagles also dropped their home opener, falling to Bellport, 47-21.
West Babylon took a 14-8 first quarter lead before Bellport gained the upper hand. “West Babylon has great athletes and is a well-coached team with a long tradition,” Blue Devil head coach Steve Muller said. “All of that said, we intend to be ready on Saturday and we will play to win.”
Huntington’s small roster played hard at North Babylon. But the Blue Devils had trouble moving the ball. There were occasional big gains on the ground, but not enough. On the flip side, Huntington’s defense repeatedly came up with big plays, surprising many in the crowd and across Suffolk.
Neither team was able to gain traction in the opening minutes, but North Babylon finally broke through in the second quarter when Nathaniel Griffith streaked 48 yards for a touchdown. Griffith also kicked the extra point to give the Bulldogs a 7-0 lead. That’s where the score stayed until 5’8 Huntington junior Kei Shan Miller scooted 15 yards for a touchdown followed by David Dje Bi Baleborzan’s extra point to tie the game and send it into overtime.
Huntington had a chance to take the lead in the extra frame, but the Blue Devils missed a 32 yard field goal on its first possession. North Babylon took the ball and Chris Stumpf lofted a 23 yard touchdown pass to Alex Griffith, who outleaped the defense in the end zone for the game winning score.
While the game wasn’t particularly sloppy there were plenty of mistakes on both sides of the ball. Huntington has spent the current week trying to reduce those errors while also getting its offensive corps untracked.
“We did a lot of things right and some things that need correction,” Muller said. “All things considered, I am proud of how we played. I think everyone gave it all that they had.”