10/27/12 6:40pm

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Greenport/Southold/Mattituck/Shelter Island’s Billy McAllister looking for running room around Southampton’s Lyle Smith.

MARINERS 26, PORTERS 20 (2 OT)

Lyle Smith loves playing football so much that his coach joked that Smith saw to it that the final game of the season for both the Southampton and Greenport/Southold/Mattituck/Shelter Island football teams on Saturday went to overtime.

Overtime would have been unnecessary had the Southampton junior held on to a pass in the end zone in the fourth quarter with the score tied at 13-13.

“That’s why he dropped that pass,” Southampton coach Edgar Franklin said. “I just think he wanted the game to go a little longer. He didn’t want it to end, he was having such a good time.”

The drop, which Smith said was his only one of the season, might have been the only thing that Smith didn’t do right. Regardless, it didn’t hurt Southampton in the long run. Alex Halaka scored on a 10-yard run around the left side in the second round of overtime, lifting the Mariners to a 26-20 victory and closing the door on a winless season for Greenport/Southold/Mattituck/Shelter Island.

Southampton, which didn’t post a win last season, finished the season with a 3-5 record in Suffolk County Division IV. The Mariners saw their playoff chances dashed before they took the field, but that didn’t seem to deter their desire.

“Sometimes it isn’t always about making the playoffs,” Franklin said. “It’s about bouncing back from defeat, and that’s how life is sometimes. You got to bounce back when you get knocked down. These guys responded this week. They came out and they said they wanted to go out the right way.”

Halaka’s game-winning run followed a fumble by Greenport/Southold/Mattituck/Shelter Island that was forced by Nitauke Williams and recovered by Danny Claud.

Both teams scored touchdowns in the first overtime of the rare afternoon game at Greenport High School’s Dorrie Jackson Memorial Field. Southampton snapped a 13-13 tie when Williams broke free and caught a 17-yard touchdown pass from Taylor Sanders (9 of 15, 131 yards). Then Greenport/Southold/Mattituck/Shelter Island (0-8) responded with Tyshe Williams banging into the end zone for a four-yard touchdown burst.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Greenport/Southold/Mattituck/Shelter Island’s Jack Volinski (No. 4) and Christian Angelson (No. 3) positioned themselves for this pass that a Southampton player tipped before Timmy Stevens caught it for a Porters touchdown.

The loss was the 13th in a row for the Porters, who dropped three of their games this year by a total of 18 points.

“We really wanted the kids to be able to get one today,” Greenport/Southold/Mattituck/Shelter Island coach Jack Martilotta said. “Last year games weren’t that close. This year they’re heartbreakingly close.”

It looked as if the football gods might finally smile on the Porters when Greenport/Southold/Mattituck/Shelter Island’s Connor Anderson retrieved the short game-opening kick that teammate John Drinkwater lofted high in the air. That set up a one-yard quarterback sneak for a touchdown by Matt Drinkwater.

But Smith, the undoubted player of the game, was on Southampton’s side. By the game’s end, his dirty No. 27 uniform told the tale of how busy he was. The 5-foot-10, 195-pound Smith, a former offensive tackle, played running back and middle linebacker. He ran for touchdowns on two successive second-quarter touches, the second of which was an 85-yarder in which a block by Isaiah Johnson opened a clearing for him up the middle. Smith ended up with 141 rushing yards from 14 carries and made a 24-yard reception. If that wasn’t enough, he had a monster of a game on defense, and was involved in a game-high 22 tackles.

The Porters tied the score at 13-13 with 10 seconds left in the first half. Eugene Allen, who alternated at quarterback with Matt Drinkwater, scrambled before floating a 10-yard pass up for grabs into the end zone. A Southampton player got his hands on the ball while Greenport/Southold/Mattituck/Shelter Island’s Jack Volinski and Christian Angelson contested him for it. The ball trickled down — and into Timmy Stevens’ waiting hands for a touchdown.

Even without running back Frank Sierra, who sat out the game with a knee injury, the Porters still picked up 240 yards on the ground. That was thanks in no small measure to a pair of sophomores, Williams (25 carries, 125 yards) and Billy McAllister (14 carries, 72 yards).

Yet, it was a sad ending for the Porters and their five seniors, who wore their team’s uniform for the last time: Christian Davis, Chris Manwaring, Marc Proferes, Eddie Wright and Richie Wysocki.

“We almost had it,” lineman Codey Fisher said. “It was close.”

Martilotta said: “We’re an 0 and 8 team, and the kids are fighting, clawing and scratching to literally the last second of the last play of the season. We’re very lucky. I’ve been saying all year, we have a great group of kids.”

On the other side of the field, Franklin and his players were ecstatic, posing for a happy team photo.

“Words can’t even express the way I feel right now,” Franklin said. “… I can see no better ending to their season than a double-overtime win with a senior scoring the winning touchdown. It couldn’t have ended better for them.”

Overtime is pressure-packed and intense, but Smith didn’t seem to mind. And why should he? After all, it meant more football.

“It was exciting,” he said. “Most people get nervous, but I was excited. I couldn’t wait to play. I like playing football, so the more football the better. Anything to keep the game going.”

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10/05/12 11:53pm

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Timmy Stevens (No. 1) and John Drinkwater after a 53-yard run by Stevens set up Frank Sierra’s six-yard touchdown run on the next play during the second quarter.

WARRIORS 38, PORTERS 27

A night that brought about a lineman’s dream — not once, not twice, but three times — proved to be a nightmare for the struggling Greenport/Southold/Mattituck/Shelter Island football team.

If scoring a touchdown is supposed to be a lineman’s dream, two defensive linemen realized the same dream during Friday night’s Wyandanch-Greenport/Southold/Mattituck/Shelter Island game, and one lineman did so twice. A strange game was made even stranger by the fact that three fumbles were recovered and run back for touchdowns by defensive linemen in Wyandanch’s 38-27 win at Greenport High School’s Dorrie Jackson Memorial Field.

Daquan Brown, who played defensive tackle as well as guard for Wyandanch, collected two fumbles that he took in for touchdowns.

“I’ve never seen anything like that,”  Wyandanch coach Ed Gay said. “I was enjoying every bit of it.”

Brown ripped the ball out of quarterback Eugene Allen’s hands and dashed 61 yards to the end zone, helping the Warriors (2-3 in Suffolk County Division IV) to a 16-0 lead with 30 seconds left in the first quarter. It was the first career touchdown for the senior. On his second touchdown, he took the ball from Frank Sierra before scooting 16 yards, making the score 32-12 with 7:58 remaining in the fourth quarter.

“It’s beautiful, just walking into the end zone,” Brown said. “Oh my gosh. I want to do it again. I want to do it again and again.”

Codey Fisher, a senior defensive end and right tackle for Greenport/Southold/Mattituck/Shelter Island, could relate to the excitement Brown must have felt. Fisher stole the ball from quarterback Marcus Gay and charged 56 yards for the Porters’ first points of the game with 3:46 left in the first half.

“It is freaky. I was shocked,” Fisher said. “I grabbed the ball, and at first I thought it was a dream because I was like, ‘This isn’t happening,’ and then I was like, ‘Oh my God, I just made a touchdown for the first time in my life.’ ”

It was a strange game in other ways, too. The Porters (0-5) committed six turnovers, including five on fumbles, yet somehow were in the game during the later stages. Allen’s one-yard touchdown run and John Drinkwater’s extra point cut Wyandanch’s lead to 32-27 with 2:10 left in the fourth quarter. But a 53-yard touchdown run by Wyandanch’s Matthew Rosa just 20 seconds later sealed the result.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Greenport/Southold/Mattituck/Shelter Island’s Eugene Allen (No. 5) beat Wyandanch’s Damon Daniels to the ball for an interception during the second quarter.

Wyandanch paid a heavy price for the win, with two of its players being taken away in an ambulance after being injured on separate fourth-quarter plays. Damon Daniels, a kick return specialist and wide receiver, injured his neck, said Ed Gay. After being placed on a stretcher, Daniels held up his right arm with his forefinger pointing up triumphantly before being carried into an ambulance. Earlier in the game, on the first play of the third quarter, Daniels had returned a kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown. Another Wyandanch player injured his left shoulder, said Ed Gay. The identity of that player, who had been brought up recently from the junior varsity team, could not be ascertained. While that player was being attended to with 1:27 left on the game clock, officials put an early end to the game.

The result of the homecoming game marked the 10th straight loss for the Porters.

“It’s another one,” Greenport/Southold/Mattituck/Shelter Island coach Jack Martilotta said. “Last week was a game we definitely could have won, and this week was definitely a game we could have won.”

With 183 rushing yards from Sierra (one touchdown) and 102 from Allen, who ran for two touchdowns, the Porters generated 356 yards worth of offense and converted on eight of 13 third-down plays.

“I felt like we were moving the ball almost at will,” Martilotta said. “We were running all over the place.”

Meanwhile, the Greenport/Southold/Mattituck/Shelter Island defense forced four turnovers itself, including a pair of interceptions by Jack Volinski, one of which was a fine diving snatch on Greenport/Southold/Mattituck/Shelter Island’s own 3-yard line. Sal Loverde made 10 tackles.

Tevaun Carr was in on 11 tackles for Wyandanch.

The Porters’ problem could be described in one word: turnovers. Six turnovers were too much to overcome. Wyandanch scored 14 points off those turnovers. And yet, it could have been worse for Greenport/Southold/Mattituck/Shelter Island. Two Wyandanch touchdowns were nullified by penalties.

A 20-yard touchdown pass on a fourth-and-10 play from Gay to Justice Brughton opened the scoring. Wyandanch went on to take an 18-0 lead when the Porters recovered their own fumble in their end zone for a safety.

The Porters twice pulled to within six points after that, but weren’t able to prevent Wyandanch from winning back-to-back games for the first time since 2000.

“Everything just kind of came together,” Ed Gay said. “We knew we had the athletes.”

The Wyandanch coach said he expected his two injured players to be O.K. “We’re going to get banged up; it’s football,” he said. “Those guys, they were fighting. I mean, they were 0 and 4 and they were fighting. I got to give it to them.”

Turnovers had not been a major issue for the Porters. They had nine turnovers in their previous four games.

“You got to hold onto it,” Martilotta said. “We got in a hole early and we fought the whole game to get out of it. I [thought] that we were going to get out of it, but we just kept dropping that ball.”

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