The East Hampton High School football team won its first game of the season here under the lights Saturday night, overwhelming its homecoming opponent (and ancient rival) Southampton, 47-14.
In other homecoming week action, the golf team avenged itself on Southampton on Oct. 10 to tie the Mariners for the league lead, the boys soccer team, hitherto undefeated in league play, was edged 1-0 by Bayport-Blue Point Friday, and the girls volleyball team lost in four to Sayville, a Class A school (East Hampton’s a B) here Monday.
Asked if he thought his team’s impressive win over Southampton (which earned it the right to retain the silver Hampton Cup for another year) were a “breakthrough,” Steve Redlus, the first-year coach, said, “It was the first time we’ve played a complete game — all four quarters. It was a nice turnaround, though there’s a lot of work to do.”
The playoffs, said Redlus, were, because of the division’s power-point system, “not out of the question as long as we take care of business . . . we could finish at 4-4 or even at 3-5 and still make them.”
Cort Heneveld, East Hampton’s Annapolis-bound quarterback, led the way, rushing for 197 yards, about half of the team’s total, and scoring four touchdowns. Brendan Hughes rushed for 97 yards and two scores, Danny McKee, a linebacker, returned an interception 65 yards for a touchdown late in the game.
“We only passed four times,” said Redlus, adding that “when you gain 400-plus yards in a game you’re going to be very successful. Our O-line was opening holes, and we played pretty well on defense too. Hughes had seven tackles, two for a loss, two sacks, and forced a fumble; Jordan Johnson, another linebacker, had four tackles, three for a loss, two sacks, and two forced fumbles, and Colton Kalbacher, who’s our safety, had nine tackles. Danny McKee had seven tackles and an interception.”
All told, East Hampton forced four fumbles and recovered two — one by Bryan Gamble, the center, who played well on both sides of the ball, with eight tackles, one for a loss, and one sack on defense. Marty Frosberg also recovered a fumble.
The Bonackers will look for their second win of the season at McGann-Mercy in Riverhead this Saturday. Mercy is winless. The Monarchs were shut out 31-0 by Elwood-John Glenn Saturday.
Redlus gave the team Sunday and Monday off “to rest their legs. . . . We’re healthy. R.J. Notel broke his nose in the homecoming game — I told him it improved his looks. . . . I think he’ll be okay.”
“All week long,” the coach added, “we told the kids about the cup, about what a long tradition it represented, and how much it would mean for us to keep it. That was our main focus. The cup’s back in our trophy case now.”
Bayport-Blue Point was said to have played a defensive game versus East Hampton’s previously undefeated boys soccer team here Friday, double and triple-teaming Donte Donegal and Nick West, two of East Hampton’s chief scoring threats, when it could. Meanwhile, the visitors’ goalie reportedly made some nice saves. Bayport’s game-winning shot — a chip over Nick Tulp, East Hampton’s goalie, who had come out — was scored midway through the second half.
It was the first goal scored on Tulp in league play this season.
“We didn’t serve or pass well, and when you do that you don’t win,” Kathy McGeehan, East Hampton’s girls volleyball coach, said following Monday morning’s loss in four to Sayville, which, as a result, tied East Hampton for the league lead.
McGeehan added, “We never were in sync, never found our rhythm. We were nervous the whole time.”
East Hampton lost the first two by scores of 25-15 and 25-23 (Sayville’s winning point resulting from a Carley Seekamp floater that landed just beyond the baseline) before coming back to win the third set 25-22, thanks to four straight service points by Cassidy Walsh that Jenna Budd capped with a squiggly shot from the left side that crawled over the net before it dropped unclaimed to the floor.
The Bonackers jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the fourth, but couldn’t hold on. In crunch time, Sayville erased a 19-18 Bonac lead, with Rebecca Seeba, an outside hitter, leading the way, to win the match.
“You’re supposed to learn from your losses, and I hope we do,” McGeehan said afterward. “It will be interesting to see how we react, how we play tomorrow, and after that. As I said, we didn’t serve well — I didn’t see any of their receivers struggling, as ours did. When it came to hitting, none of their kids were undiggable, like Raya [O’Neal, who had 14 kills]. We had 14 blocking errors at the net, which means we gave them 14 points. They had 14 service aces — we had 7 — and we made 17 serve receive errors, which was a lot for a four-set match.”
East Hampton, which dropped to 8-1 as a result of the loss, had three games left in the regular season, McGeehan said, while Sayville had four, one of which (today) is with Westhampton Beach, a team the Bonackers edged in five last week.
McGeehan’s team was to have played at Miller Place yesterday — a team that took Sayville to a fifth game before losing on Oct. 8. “We have to take care of business at Miller Place,” said McGeehan. “Then we’ll be saying, ‘Go, Westhampton!’ ”
The team is to play in a tournament this weekend at Horseheads, N.Y., along with Elwood-John Glenn, Harborfields, and a number of Upstate teams.
As for the coming Class B playoffs, the coach said, “I’m sure John Glenn will be in them, as will Bayport, Hampton Bays, Mount Sinai, and us. And I think that everyone in that group is capable of beating any of the others on a given day.”