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Sep 29, 2017 11:50 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Hampton Bays Football Defeats Southampton Once Again To Hold On To Mayor's Cup

The Southampton football team raises three flags during the National Anthem prior to Thursday night's game: the Shinnecock Indian Nation flag, the Mariner team flag, and the flag of the United States. DREW BUDD
Oct 2, 2017 3:02 PM

The Mayor’s Cup has called Hampton Bays home since 2010 and will continue to do so for at least another year.

The Baymen (2-2 Division IV, 112.20 power points) held on for a 14-7 victory over Southampton/Pierson/Bridgehampton (1-3 Division IV, 88.70) at Southampton High School on Thursday, September 28, to retain the cup that has been in circulation across the East End for well over three decades. Southampton had the cup for five years before relinquishing it to Hampton Bays in 2010. Since then the Baymen have beaten the Mariners in 2012, 2014, last season and now this season, and they were understandably pumped following the victory on Thursday night.

“It’s tough to put into words, you can’t really explain it,” Hampton Bays senior Jeremy Bradley said of the victory. “But it’s great.”

On the flipside, Southampton head coach Bruce Muro said that the loss was painful.

“A loss is a loss, but this one’s big, it hurts,” he said. “It’s the Mayor’s Cup, it’s our rival. It’s something the kids wanted, something I wanted. I’m disappointed we couldn’t bring it home.”

This year’s version was much closer than in recent games between the two rivals.

Sophomore Quinn Smith (13 carries, 91 yards) gave Hampton Bays the lead—set up by strong runs from senior Nico Antieri —when he plunged into the end zone from 10 yards out just over four minutes into the second half. Antieri (21 carries, 159 yards) tacked on the two-point conversion to give Hampton Bays its 14-7 lead.

Southampton had a chance to score on the game’s final drive, starting from its own 20-yard line with 1:55 remaining. Junior quarterback Shawn Stelling connected with receiver Sincere Faggins at midfield to the Baymen 45-yard line. After a sack by Smith, and a broken up pass by senior defensive back Ryan Caffrey, Southampton faced a 4th and 15 with 35.3 seconds remaining. Stelling stepped back to pass and got the throw off but it sailed over Faggins’ head incomplete, giving the ball to the Baymen, who took a knee and celebrated the victory with the Mayor’s Cup.

Muro said that the Hampton Bays defensive front—the linemen and linebackers—were too much for his team and didn’t allow Stelling enough time to find his receivers.

“We couldn’t block. They were too good for us up front. We had a hard time containing them,” he said. “I think the wear and tear ... you get to the fourth quarter, all of a sudden our kids are running out of gas, possibly.”

Hampton Bays was the first team on the scoreboard Thursday night when Antieri ran 33 yards along the Southampton sideline with 5:45 remaining in the first quarter. The ensuing extra-point attempt was blocked but the Baymen had a 6-0 lead.

The score remained that way until early in the second quarter. Stelling threw a deep ball for senior Micah Snowden, who went up high for it and made the catch, but came down awkwardly and was injured; he sat out most of the quarter but returned just before the half ended. The pass and catch set up the Mariners on the Baymen 5-yard line. On the very next play, senior Aaron Napier Jr. scampered into the end zone, and after the successful extra-point attempt, Southampton held a 7-6 lead, which it took into the locker room at halftime.

“I think we played okay,” Muro said. “I still don’t think we played mistake-free football. Mistake-free football means making blocks on the offensive line, and giving Shawn Stelling time to make the accurate throws. The pressure that Hampton Bays had, we couldn’t get the ball downfield.”

With winnable games coming up—the Mariners play at Center Moriches’ homecoming on Saturday at 3 p.m.—Muro said his team needs to forget about the loss, as much as it might sting.

“We always put stuff in the past, even wins, like after last week’s win [over Greenport],” he said. “It’s a new game, it’s a new week, and it’s another opportunity to get a win, and that’s the focus.”

The Baymen won the game despite five turnovers—three of which were fumble recoveries by Pierson’s Jake Esposito—and a number of plays that were called back due to penalties. Bradley, who made eight tackles on defense, caught what was thought to be a 41-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter but it was called back due to a chop block penalty. Bradley had another deep catch that would have set up the Baymen deep in Mariners’ territory in the fourth quarter, but that was called back due to a holding penalty.

Smith also had a good game on defense, leading the team with 10 tackles and two sacks. Senior captains Jackson Perez and Riley McNamara made six and five tackles, respectively, and junior Kevin McNamara had the Baymen’s lone turnover, an interception in the second quarter.

“I feel like we could have played a little better, but I’m happy with the result,” Bradley said. “We have to work harder, watch more film.”

Hampton Bays head coach Rich Doulos said that his team is most likely going to need to win three of its final four games to make the playoffs. The Baymen host Port Jefferson, also 2-2, this Friday night at 7 p.m.

“When you shoot yourself in the foot offensively with the penalties, I don’t care what team you’re playing, it’s going to be tough to overcome, so 100 percent we have to clean things up,” he said. “We have to do what we do best and sit down, break down film, get these guys up to playing.”

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