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Oct 24, 2017 10:30 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Hurricane Football Defeats Sayville For The First Time Since 1956

Charles Fee follows through for a 24-yard field goal to give Westhampton Beach a commanding 17-0 lead early in the third quarter. DREW BUDD
Oct 24, 2017 10:59 AM

The Westhampton Beach football team found itself in unfamiliar territory heading into Friday night’s home game against Sayville.

For the first time in recent memory, the undefeated Hurricanes were the favorites to win the annual showdown with the perennial powerhouse Golden Flashes, and while those expectations can put added pressure on some teams, it was business as usual for the Canes.

Westhampton Beach defeated Sayville, 23-8, marking the first victory over the Golden Flashes for the Canes since 1956, according to head coach Bill Parry.

“It’s the monkey off the back,” he said. “We were close a couple of times and they always managed to beat us. Our kids played a really, really, solid football game, mistake free. I’m really proud of the way they played.”

Sayville was without its starting quarterback, senior Jacob Cheshire, due to injury. On top of that, the Flashes were forced to forfeit their 35-14 victory at East Islip from September 16 earlier in the week after learning they had used an ineligible player in two games. They self-reported the infraction to Section XI, the governing body of Suffolk County high school athletics. The loss dropped the Golden Flashes to 4-2 instead of 5-1 heading into the game and leaving no chance of tying Westhampton Beach for the regular-season Division III title had it won.

Parry said it most likely won’t be the last time his team sees Sayville this season, though. “They’re a very, very good football team and they’re going to be right there at the end,” he said.

Junior Liam McIntyre scored on an 11-yard run to put Westhampton Beach (7-0 Division III, 154.85 power points) on the board in the first, then senior Nolan Quinlan halted a Sayville drive at the 5-yard line with a leaping interception that he returned 64 yards to Sayville’s 31. Senior Dylan Laube ran 30 yards to the 1, but scored on the next play, and after Charles Fee’s extra point, the Canes led 14-0, which was the score at halftime.

Fee, a senior, connected on a 24-yard field goal early in the third, set up by a 68-yard run by Laube, to make it a 17-0 game. Sayville drove down the field on its next drive but Westhampton Beach forced an incomplete pass on 4th and 1 from its 5-yard line to force a turnover on downs. On the second play of the Canes’ ensuing drive, Laube made a few moves in Sayville’s secondary, then dashed for a 93-yard touchdown, and after Fee’s extra point, the Canes were staked to a commanding 23-0 lead.

Senior James Lyons, who filled in, most of the time, for Cheshire, found fellow senior Nate Bauland on a 12-yard screen pass with 3:47 remaining in the game to avoid the shutout for the Flashes. Other than that, it was a complete game for the Canes, who have all but locked up the Division III regular-season title along with a home playoff game in the first round of the playoffs. If they can win at 6-1 Harborfields this Friday night (6:30 p.m. kickoff), the Canes should have home-field advantage through the first two rounds of the playoffs, should they win their first-round game, Parry said.

McIntyre, who totaled seven tackles and a sack on defense and 51 yards rushing on offense, said after Friday night’s win that ever since last year’s loss at Sayville—a game in which the Canes led at halftime, only to succumb to the Flashes in the second half—the Canes have been looking to get some revenge.

“We worked very hard for this,” he said. “We run behind an amazing line, and day in and day out, it’s nothing less than a family just going hard with each other every single day.”

Laube, who totaled 259 yards on 23 carries, said Friday night’s victory was a career win, not just for the players but for their head coach.

“He hasn’t beaten them once in 21 years, so I would say this is probably his biggest win ever,” he said of Parry. “We realize we probably have the biggest wins of our careers here ... we have to stay humble, we can’t be cocky now. We have to play one game at a time, because we believe we’re one of the best teams in this conference now.”

While Laube takes the spotlight most of the time, McIntyre, in just his second game back after breaking his left hand in the season opener, had a solid game as well and has created that one-two punch with Laube the Canes thought they had coming into the season. McIntyre was in with a number of teammates that stuffed Lyons on a 4th and 1 run at the Canes’ 40 on Sayville’s first possession. He also made a one-hand reception for 15 yards on the drive he scored his touchdown on.

As for how his hand is feeling, he says it’s fine.

“It’s just football for me, I love it,” McIntyre said. “I would do anything to play. You could cut my leg off, I’ll find a way to play. I love this team, I love my brothers, I love this game. There’s nothing better than it.”

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