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Oct 9, 2018 6:32 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Center Moriches Ruins Homecoming Night For Southampton Football

Senior Matt Donovan leads the Mariners on to the field for their homecoming game on Friday night. DREW BUDD
Oct 9, 2018 9:35 AM

Things were looking good for the Southampton/Pierson/Bridgehampton football team very early on in its homecoming game against Center Moriches on Friday night.

The Red Devils fumbled the opening kickoff and Southampton junior Dakoda Smith came up with the ball to give the Mariners possession and excellent field position on the Center Moriches 39-yard line to start the game. The Mariners settled for a 20-yard field goal by Pierson sophomore Hudson Brindle on that drive, and a solid goal-line stand later in the first quarter—when the Red Devils had the ball at the Mariners’ 1 and couldn’t convert—all were good signs early on.

Multiple mistakes, and some bad luck, eventually did Southampton in, though, as its 3-0 lead eventually turned in to a 7-3 Center Moriches lead by halftime, then the Red Devils scored 21 unanswered points in the second half to go on to the 28-3 victory. It was a tough loss for Southampton (1-3 Division IV, 97 power points), forcing the Mariners to have to win their final two games of the season if they want to have any chance of clinching their first postseason berth since 2005. They’ll have to do that at Wyandanch (3-1 Division IV, 115.20 power points) this Saturday, October 13, at 1:30 p.m. and then will have Babylon (2-2 Division IV, 120 power points) next week at home on October 19. Southampton has a win in hand for its season finale since it was scheduled against East Hampton, which canceled its varsity program prior to the start of the season and handed forfeits to all of its scheduled opponents.

Center Moriches took the lead with 8:35 remaining in the first half on Friday night when Emond Frazier connected with David Carroll on a 76-yard touchdown strike. Southampton junior Sincere Faggins had very tight coverage on Carroll, who somehow was still able to catch the ball then break off the run. Carroll had a big night, finishing with eight receptions for 187 yards and an interception on defense. One of his receptions midway through the third quarter eventually set up one of Brett Furhmann’s two touchdowns on the night.

Southampton was down two starters from early on in the game. Niaka Williams, a senior co-captain, suffered an ankle injury in one of the first series of the game, and then lineman A.J. Amador suffered what may have been a broken wrist. Losing those players and repeating a few mistakes throughout the game didn’t bode well for the Mariners, head coach Bruce Muro said.

“Too many penalties and fundamentals,” he said. “We missed a lot of tackles again. We definitely missed Niaka. He’s a captain and an emotional leader for us. He’s a kid who pushes our kids. He’s sorely missed on the field on both sides of the ball.”

Muro had a lot of confidence in his players at the start of the season and even predicted that his team should make the playoffs but things certainly haven’t gone his way at the halfway point of the season. He put the onus on him and his coaching staff to get the most they can out of their players.

“We have to do a better job coaching, I’ll put it on me,” he said. “We have to be harder on the kids. We have to get them to learn to be disciplined. Before we came out here we felt like Center Moriches was a very disciplined team and if we’re not going to be like them we were not going to be able to beat them because we’re going to make too many mistakes and it showed. I’m going to look at the film and I’m sure we’re going to see a lot of mistakes.”

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