Sep 14, 09 1:05 PM
The Westhampton Beach football team had a tough time putting the ball in the end zone on Saturday afternoon and that led to a 21-7 defeat at the hands of Deer Park in the opening game of the 2009 season.
Hurricanes head coach Bill Parry said a few weeks ago that the first three games are crucial to his team’s postseason hopes. On Thursday, the 10th-ranked Hurricanes will host sixth-ranked Rocky Point at 3:30 p.m. and then they will have to visit second-seeded Islip on September 25 under the lights at 7 p.m. If the team can win two of those three games, Parry said his team will makes the playoffs. If they win one of three, the ‘Canes should still have a good shot, but if they lose all three it’ll be a tough season.
Losing the first game of the season didn’t help Westhampton Beach get off on the right foot but Parry was proud of the way his team played a bigger and stronger Deer Park team.
“We were a little out matched physically, but we hung in there and played real tough,” he said after the game. “We played well, we played very physical, we out hit them, we out toughed them. We just made more mistakes than them. That we can fix. The physical part we can’t. So I’m happy about that and I think we can move on from here.”
The first half didn’t see much offense as both teams were stuck at midfield most of the time. Deer Park struck first soon after the start of the second quarter when running back James Taylor ran 60 yards for the first of three touchdowns he would eventually tally on the day.
Westhampton Beach had a great opportunity to score its first touchdown of the game and the 2009 season at the end of the first half. Starting a drive on their own 39 yard line, the Hurricanes mixed in some run and pass plays as a 20-yard run from junior fullback Antonio Garcia put his team into Deer Park’s red zone at the 8-yard line. After numerous failed attempts however, Westhampton Beach went into halftime down 7-0.
The third quarter was much like the first with both teams unable to score. Taylor would score his second touchdown with 4:35 remaining in the game on a 17-yard pitch play to the left. Almost two and a half minutes later, Taylor would score again on another run play and, after the extra point, it put Deer Park up 21-0.
The Hurricanes did not give up though. With the offense backed up on their own 22-yard line, junior quarterback Cory Schulz swung a pass to the left side to senior Cory Hubbard who was eventually brought down at the Deer Park 15-yard line. Senior halfback Vance Shindler would eventually score from three yards out to put Westhampton Beach on the board and avoid the shut out with 1:14 remaining in the game.
For the most part, Westhampton Beach stuck to their game plan on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball.
“They run a real good triple option and we wanted to slow that down,” Parry said. “For the most part we stopped it. Other than two plays, we held them in check. Offensively, we wanted to move the ball, just slow the clock down like we did and keep it close until the end. And it was there for a while, we just let it get away from us.”
Schulz was six for 12 passing for 106 yards and ran the ball five times for 39 yards. Shindler ran the ball 19 times for 80 yards and the one touchdown while Hubbard was three for 53 rushing and caught that one 61-yard pass to set up the touchdown. On defense, senior linebacker Mike Ramos made six tackles while junior linebacker Renato Alvarado made 13.