On the first weekend of October, the Sayville Golden Flashes and Westhampton Beach Hurricanes went head-to-head. The two longtime Division III rivals faced off under the lights on the gridiron on Greene Avenue.
Defense was the story early as Sayville had a three and out on their opening drive. On the Hurricanes’ opening drive, the Golden Flashes defense showed their tenacity early, with Benny Sands making a tackle for a 4-yard loss, then James Gallagher a sack for a loss of 9. After Sayville got the ball back with neither team on the scoreboard, Jack Smalley rifled the ball to the end zone as Mack Murtha hauled it in to break the scoreless tie with 4:29 remaining in the first quarter. A Michael Argenziano extra point added the opening score to 7-0.
The defense continued to play tough in the second quarter when Murtha made a vigorous quarterback sack and Sands recovered a fumble. The Hurricanes’ defense kept the deficit to a 1 score game with two dynamic plays prior to the end of the first half. Westhampton intercepted Smalley with 1:39 to go in the first half, then again with 25 seconds to go till halftime. Defense was the narrative in the first half as Sayville took a 7-0 lead to the locker room.
At halftime, there was a surprise baton-twirling performance by Sayville High School student Julianna Ott, much shown in gratification by the Sayville faithful applauding in the bleachers.
As the third quarter got underway, there was more defense with Gallagher making his second sack of the night. It was just a matter of time before the Sayville offense got going. With the ball back, Smalley threw a first down to Mike Milo down to the opponent’s 35, then Smalley with a strike to Chad Moccio to move the chains down to the 16. Versatile freshman Kyle Messina, who spent a decent amount of his game time Friday evening calling the signals as quarterback, rushed the ball to the 6-yard line making it first and goal.
On second down and goal from the 5, Messina ran it again, this time for 5 yards and 6 points into the end zone, followed up by Argenziano’s extra point to give Sayville a 14-0 lead with 6:36 remaining in the third quarter. Messina’s dashing down the field was the narrative in the second half as Messina took it to the house for a 53-yard touchdown run with 2:58 to go in the third.
On the opening play of the fourth quarter, the Hurricanes got on the board when senior Geoff Arrasate threw a strike to senior Deegan Laube for a 4-yard touchdown pass. Sayville led Westhampton 21-6 with 11:53 in regulation. Messina’s agility continued to lift his team and on a 29-yard scramble for a score as the Golden Flashes were pouring it on with a sturdy 28-6 lead with 7:04 remaining in the game.
In the final minutes, No. 99 Thomas Golio recovered a Westhampton fumble for a 24-yard defensive touchdown. The final score was Golden Flashes 35, Hurricanes 6.
Upcoming for both teams: Westhampton Beach will host Deer Park and Sayville will be on the road vs. Rocky Point both Friday, Oct. 8, under the lights for week five of the Division III varsity season.