The bleachers and sidelines were packed at Hampton Bays High School on Friday night as the Baymen football team played its first game on its new turf field, beating Port Jefferson, 20-11, to move to 1-1 in Division IV.
Port Jeff struck first with a field goal in the second quarter, but the Baymen responded by scoring 20 unanswered points to take control of the game. The Royals added a touchdown and two-point conversion with less than two minutes remaining to provide the final margin.
Hampton Bays head coach Mike Oestreicher said he was happy with the way his team played, coming off a 43-15 drubbing at the hands of Elwood/John Glenn in Week 1, but he also said he felt that Port Jefferson (1-1) was not a bad team. “I thought we played well,” he said. “We needed to establish our running game again, and I thought we did that, and we played sound defense. But I thought [Port Jeff] was a good football team and played really well.”
Taylor Catz led the Baymen with 106 yards on 16 carries and two touchdowns. His 12-yard touchdown run in the second quarter followed by a two-point conversion run gave Hampton Bays the lead for good at 8-3. With 3:41 left in the third quarter, Catz carried the ball up the middle on a short run for another touchdown, the punctuation on a long drive where the Baymen ran the ball consistently. Quarterback Ryan Palazzolo was sacked on the conversion attempt, making it 14-3 at halftime.
In the fourth, Palazzolo connected with Christian Nydegger on a 12-yard touchdown pass, but the conversion failed again.
Palazzolo was 6 for 7 passing on the night for 63 yards and a touchdown. Ryan Cavanaugh had two catches for 33 yards, and Cody Nolan carried the ball six times for 39 yards. Larry Macholz led the team with eight tackles and an interception, while Christian Nydegger had seven tackles and Tommy Tretola had four tackles for loss.
The Baymen had 257 yards of total offense, including 195 rushing, while Port Jeff totaled 193 yards.
Hampton Bays will travel to Bayport/Blue Point on Saturday for a battle with the 1-1 Phantoms. Bayport beat Stony Brook, 13-6, in Week 1 and lost, 48-7, to powerhouse Babylon last week. Oestreicher said the game is one of the most important on his team’s schedule this year. “It’s a game we’re supposed to win, but they’re good,” he said. “It’s a pivotal game.”
Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.