Before his Baymen hit the field Friday night for their season opener, newly hired Hampton Bays football coach Jeff Doroski took a moment to thank his players for accepting him into the program.
The Baymen, in return, awarded Doroski with a lopsided 25-0 victory over Wyandanch on their home turf.
“It’s a great way to start,” Doroski said following the game.
Hampton Bays had no trouble getting on the board quickly against a Wyandanch team that is undersized in both stature and actual numbers. On the first play of the game, senior running back Josue Monroy carried the ball into Wyandanch territory with a nearly 40-yard run and, two plays later, junior Jordan Johnson took a toss to the right for eight yards and paydirt to put Hampton Bays up 6-0 just one minute into the contest. Tyler Havens, a junior, kicked the extra point to make it 7-0.
With 5:36 remaining in the first quarter, junior Matt Rinaldi, making his first appearance on a football field in his high school career, intercepted an errant pass, which set up the Baymen’s second touchdown. Less than a minute later, Monroy took the ball 14 yards to the right for a score and, after the missed extra point, Hampton Bays led 13-0 heading into the second quarter.
The only score in the second came off of a great individual effort by junior defensive lineman Ayden Muhs. Wyandanch’s quarterback stepped back to pass and, after feeling some pressure, attempted to scramble.
But Muhs found him, wrestled the ball away and then ran the ball 47 yards for a touchdown. Even though the extra point was no good, the Baymen still enjoyed a commanding 19-0 lead at halftime.
Several penalties prevented Hampton Bays from developing any sustained offence in the third quarter, though the Baymen were able to find the end zone again in the fourth thanks to Rinaldi’s second interception of the night.
Rinaldi was able to bring the ball to Wyandanch’s 9-yard line, which set up a screen pass from junior quarterback Justin Strecker to senior wide receiver Christian Nydegger, who took the ball nine yards for the score. The failed extra point created the final score of 25-0.
Doroski said he was pleased with the way his team played given the fact that it had one less week than any other team, aside from Wyandanch, in Division IV to prepare; the game was originally slated to be played at Wyandanch the first week of October, but a scheduling change was made prior to the new coach’s arrival.
“I think we were a little off offensively, and I think we have some work to do to come around on that side of the ball, but we have some nice weapons,” Doroski said. “Josue is a very nice runner, Jordan Johnson is a very good runner, Sean [Grismer] can do some things at the quarterback position. We have some different people we can count on and turn to offensively.
“We have to get better for next week, these guys know that,” he continued, “but, overall, I’m very happy with our performance out here tonight.”
Monroy led all rushers with 102 yards on eight carries and a touchdown while Johnson finished with 45 yards on five carries and a touchdown. Grismer, who started at quarterback, was two for eight passing for 29 yards while Strecker completed the one pass to Nydegger for the late touchdown.
Rinaldi led all receivers with two catches for 30 yards. Senior Tom Tretola had three sacks.
Hampton Bays will face much stiffer competition this Saturday, September 13, when it visits Elwood/John Glenn at 1:30 p.m. The Knights are a perennially solid football team and this year is no different as the squad earned the top seed in the preseason rankings.
“John Glenn will be a tough test for us. [Head coach] Dave Shanahan does a great job over there—he always has some athletes,” Doroski said. “We’ve got our work cut out for us, but I like where we’re at.”
At the end of the night, Doroski was able to reflect on his first game not donning the Mercy green, where he coached the past few years.
“The kids, the coaching staff have been very accepting of me, welcomed me into this program, the football family,” he said of Hampton Bays. “They’ve given me everything they’ve got, they’ve listened to everything I’ve had to say and everything we’ve wanted to work on here, so, for me, they’ve helped to make the transition very easy and I’m very happy to be here and part of the ‘Baymen Nation.’”