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Oct 13, 2009 1:12 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Baymen unscathed at 5-0

Oct 13, 2009 1:12 PM

The Hampton Bays football team’s perfect record remains unscathed in Division IV after a 35-21 win at Port Jefferson on Saturday and it’s becoming increasingly clear that the 5-0 team could live up to the hype.

The Baymen won decisive victories over all their opponents this season, but their win at Port Jefferson proves that the guys can stand up to the better teams in the division. The Royals were even at 2-2, but they walked off their home field with a losing 2-3 record on Saturday. None of the other four teams Hampton Bays beat this year have won more than a game.

At 2 p.m. on Saturday the boys will return to Hampton Bays to face Bayport/Blue Point (2-3) and Hampton Bays head coach Mike Oestreicher is taking none of it lightly.

“That’s a tough damn football team, but we won,” he said to his team after defeating the Royals. He noted that Hampton Bays has three games left before the playoffs and none of its opponents will lie down. “They’re going to fight you tooth and nail,” Oestreicher said.

The Baymen made some mistakes on Saturday, but they proved their mettle beyond a shadow of a doubt with some excellent play throughout four quarters of football.

Senior Aaron Besch and junior quarterback Robbie King put together an 8-yard touchdown to open the scoring, but the kick failed and the Royals answered back to take a one-point lead with a touchdown and an extra point at 4:20 in the second quarter.

Hampton Bays advanced to the 46-yard line and secured a first down during its next drive, senior John Havens advanced 37 yards on a long pass from King and senior Oskar Ramirez completed the attack with a 4-yard push to the end zone. Senior Kyle Palazzolo put the icing on the cake with a two-point conversion and the Baymen grabbed a 14-7 lead.

The Hampton Bays defense kept up the pressure as the Royals tried to make something happen in the final moments of the second quarter. With the Baymen chasing him and the final minute on the clock, quarterback Dan Serignese lost his head and tossed the ball right into Besch’s capable hands.

At 10:18 in the third quarter, Hampton Bays recovered a fumble, advanced on a 34-yard run and junior Ryan Lynch scored on another beautiful 15-yard pass from King. Junior kicker Igor Leite split the uprights and added another point, increasing the lead to a less tenuous 21-7.

The Royals put together a determined drive, picking up several first downs before Grant Greenhalgh and Serignese scored a 23-yard touchdown. The extra point succeeded and Port Jefferson closed the deficit to 21-14 with less than four minutes left in the quarter.

Havens put Hampton Bays back to a safe 28-14 lead with a huge 50-yard touchdown along the left side and Leite nailed the extra point, but the Royals continued fighting and scored again. Serignese shot a 13-yard bullet pass to towering senior Dylan Wyatt, the extra point was good and Port Jefferson again landed within striking distance at 28-21.

The tension mounted when King gave up an interception with 10:22 left in the game and the Royals pushed the ball to a first down at the 21-yard line. Port Jefferson picked up a 15-yard penalty on the second down with 10 yards to go and the team was left at third and 25 and then fourth and 25 on the 36-yard line.

The Royals had been kicking well all day, but they botched the punt and Hampton Bays mounted another push toward the goal. Port Jefferson intercepted another King pass at the 3-yard line, but the Baymen quarterback righted his wrong and returned the favor, picking off a pass at the 9-yard line and landing at first and goal.

Ramirez hustled in the final 1-yard touchdown, Leite executed his third successful kick of the afternoon and Hampton Bays protected its spotless record for another week.

King had a brilliant performance, completing eight of 12 passes with 161 yards, two touchdowns and an interception as a defensive back to lead the Baymen. Ramirez had 87 rushing yards, 14 carries and two touchdowns, and Havens had 88 rushing yards for seven carries, one touchdown and an interception. He also caught two passes for 60 receiving yards.

Leite made three of four extra points attempted, he led the defense with 12 tackles and had one reception for 10 yards. Besch has 10 tackles, two receptions for 24 yards as a receiver and one defensive interception.

Senior Perri Gitto recovered a fumble and he had three sacks for a total of 12 this season. He broke the Hampton Bays record of 9.5 sacks in a season, which Daryl Johnson set in 1987. Gitto has 16.5 career sacks and he’s creeping dangerously close to the school record of 17 career sacks, set by Johnson between 1984 and 1987 and matched by Michael Kovar between 2004 and 2005.

“This is always a battle every year,” Oestreicher said after the game on Saturday. He said the Baymen always have exciting games against Port Jefferson, even when the team was losing these last few years. “That’s not a team that’s going away,” he said, noting that he expects to see the Royals again in the postseason.

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