Blue Devils Stop Tornadoes In Opener
In a season opener contested amongst cross-town rivals, the Huntington Blue Devils prevailed over the Harborfields Tornadoes in a 14-6 final Sept. 11.
Huntington’s Troy Greene scored the game’s first touchdown with a 7-yard run, while quarterback Ben Kocis followed by splitting the uprights with the extra point to give Huntington a 7-0 first quarter lead. However, Harborfields quarterback Andrew Widmer responded by orchestrating a 13-play 71-yard second-quarter drive that culminated with the senior throwing a 4-yard touchdown pass to Kieran Rappa. The Blue Devils kept a one-point lead after the Tornadoes’ point-after kick failed.
Huntington extended its lead to 14-6 in the third frame as Levar Butts raced 10 yards into the end zone and Kocis booted the extra point.
The Blue Devils defense locked up the game with 3:30 remaining when Keegan Reilly picked off a Widmer pass at the 1-yard line to stop a drive with about 3:30 remaining. Greene then intercepted a second pass with less than 2 minutes on the clock to seal the victory.
“Harborfields played a great game against us,” Huntington coach Steve Muller, who secured his 100th victory as head coach, said. “We have some work to do.”
Tornadoes coach Mike Potter chalked up the loss to some missed opportunities. They reached the red zone four times but only scored once, he noted.
“They gave us some opportunities and we didn’t take advantage,” he said.
Widmer was 11-for-21 and passed for 178 yards and a touchdown; the team combined for 300 yards on offense.
“We may throw more than that down the road,” Potter added.
As Widmer’s passing game takes center stage, Potter said his main targets will be senior wide receiver Tanner Morrow, senior wide receiver Alex Rappa, who is “big for us in the slot;” tight end Billy Moller and senior runningback Isaiah Lightfoot. All told, the Tornadoes have 29 seniors – “a senior-laden team to be sure,” the coach said.
While special teams and running will be the focus of some fine-tuning, the Tornadoes defense was a strong spot in the loss, according to the coach.
“If we get that effort from our defense for the next seven weeks, we’re going to be fine,” Potter said.
For Huntington, Kocis completed 9 of 15 passes for 109 yards and also picked up 34 yards rushing on 4 carries. Butts rushed 14 times for 101 yards and a touchdown. Greene added 62 yards on 10 carries and also scored a touchdown.
On receiving, Christian Jamison caught 5 passes for 71 yards. Butts had 2 receptions for 13 yards.
Butts led the defense with 15 tackles, including two for a loss and a big second half 10-yard sack. Greene had 7 tackles including 4 for a loss and assisted on another. Infinite Tucker recorded 6 tackles and 2 assists. Christian Gonzalez had 5 tackles and 2 assists. Jimmie Nelson, Dan Giraldo, Valentin Gutierrez and Jamison had 2 tackles and 2 assists each respectively.
The Blue Devils will next play on Saturday, when they will host the Comsewogue Warriors at 1:30 p.m. For Harborfields, this weekend is Homecoming, and they will host Deer Park at 2 p.m.