After a disappointing homecoming loss to Mercy last week, Southampton football coach Bruce Muro said he was happy to see the way his players reacted—he recalls plenty of visible frustration on their faces at the end of the game, showing him that they cared.
The Mariners seemed to channel that emotion in a positive way on Saturday afternoon, when they picked up their first win of the season, defeating Stony Brook, 35-18, at home.
The game was a back-and-forth battle early on, until Southampton (1-2) took the lead for good after the first of two consecutive touchdowns by Andre Franklin at the end of the first half that put Southampton up, 21-12, going into the locker rooms. Stony Brook (1-2) trimmed the lead to 21-18 after scoring on a kickoff return to start the second half, but the Mariners shut out the Bears for the remainder of the game and added two more scores in the fourth for good measure.
Stony Brook had a 12-7 lead early in the second quarter, before Franklin scored on a 15-yard run, and Southampton added two points on the conversion when Colby Lenahan ran the ball in. On the ensuing kickoff, Mitch Pena made a great hit on a Stony Brook player, knocking the ball loose, and his teammate, Jack O’Brien, recovered the fumble, giving the Mariners excellent field position. They took advantage, with Franklin scoring on a one-yard run. After a failed conversion attempt, Southampton was up 21-12.
The Mariners responded to the third-quarter kickoff return touchdown by Stony Brook with two more scores in the fourth. Lenahan found the end zone on an 11-yard run, and Franklin scored on the conversion, and then Thomas Roughan rounded out the scoring for the day on a 16-yard run, followed by a failed extra-point attempt.
Lenahan led the Mariner ground attack by racking up 129 yards on 16 carries and two touchdowns. Franklin had 34 yards on five carries with two touchdowns and also led the defense with seven tackles. Thomas Roughan had nine carries for 56 yards, and one reception for 20 yards, along with a touchdown. He also had 1.5 sacks on the day.
“I feel like the kids are getting better every week,” Muro said. “They learned how to win, and they played their hearts out.”
Muro noted that Franklin’s touchdown right before the half—set up by Pena’s hit and O’Brien’s fumble recovery—turned the tide for his team. “That was a big momentum change for us,” he said.
Southampton’s offense not only came alive, but the players also did a much better job of taking care of the football, playing a turnover-free game. That was in stark contrast to their first two games when the Mariners turned the ball over multiple times.
Southampton was set to play Greenport/Southold on Wednesday, October 1, at 6 p.m. The Porters are also 1-2 on the season.