The youth and collective inexperience of the Southampton football team was a problem again last week in a 16-8 home loss to Greenport/Southold on October 1.
A week after putting in a strong showing in a 35-18 win over Stony Brook, the Mariners had trouble scoring and taking care of the ball against the Porters, issues that plagued them in earlier losses this season. The latest loss dropped Southampton to 1-3 on the year, putting them in 10th place out of 12 teams in Division IV with 95.000 power points.
Greenport opened the scoring in the game, played on Wednesday night because of the Yom Kippur holiday. The Porters drove the ball down the field with ease, and put seven points on the board when Billy McAllister scored on an eight-yard run and the extra point attempt was good. Southampton responded in the second quarter, however, when Colby Lenahan recovered a Greenport fumble at Southampton’s 25-yard line, which set up a scoring drive that was capped by sophomore Andre Franklin’s 45-yard touchdown run. The Mariners took an 8-7 lead when they faked the extra point, with Thomas Roughan running it in for two points.
But that flash of impressive play was followed by a costly miscue, one that head coach Bruce Muro said was the turning point in the game. The Mariners had the ball after receiving the kickoff to start the second half, but fumbled at their own 37-yard line, which ultimately led to Tyshe Williams’s three-yard touchdown run, which put the Porters up for good at 13-8, after a failed extra-point attempt. Greenport added a 24-yard field goal with five minutes left in the game to round out the scoring.
Muro said that while the inconsistency has been frustrating, he hasn’t been disappointed with his team’s effort this season.
“They keep playing hard and they don’t quit,” he said. “We’re on a big learning curve because of our youth. We have a lot of young players on the field, and a lot of first-year position players.”
Lenahan led the Mariner ground game, rushing for 85 yards, while Thomas Roughan and Franklin led the defense with six tackles each.
The loss wasn’t the only blow dealt to the Mariners on Wednesday night. Franklin, one of the team’s top running backs and most reliable scorers, broke his ankle in the third quarter, and will miss the rest of the season, according to Muro. Southampton was also playing without sophomore lineman Shaundell Crumpton and senior running back/defensive back Nitauke Williams for the second week in a row, according to Muro. He said he expected Crumpton to return to the lineup for the team’s game against Bayport/Blue Point this week, and said Williams could be back in two weeks.
Southampton will travel to face Bayport on Friday night for a 6 p.m. game, starting a stretch of three consecutive road games. Bayport (3-1) is third in the division with 122.500 power points, and is coming off a 20-6 win over Babylon last week. The Mariners will travel to face winless Wyandanch on October 18, and will visit Center Moriches on October 24 before finishing the regular season at home against rival Hampton Bays on October 30.