The Eastport South Manor football team earned a 13-12 upset victory at Amityville on Thursday, September 12.
Down 12-6 with 4:11 remaining in the game, the Sharks drove the ball 85 yards—which included some key catches by Patrick Minogue and Jager Chasty—and tied the game on a 2-yard run by running-back Cole Zeller, his second touchdown of the game.
Nijay Brown, who scored the only goals for the girls soccer team last week, kicked the game-winning extra point to seal the victory for ESM. Brown is dual-eligible and can play both football and soccer this fall.
ESM was pre-ranked 11 out of 14 teams in Division III this season while Amityville was pre-ranked among the top eight, which would make it a playoff contender. The victory should give the Sharks a big boost in power points and help them in their quest to make the postseason this fall.
“It was nice because last year [Amityville] did beat us really bad,” Zeller said of the win. “But this year’s game, it was a team effort. It was great.”
Zeller scored the first touchdown of the game on a 28-yard run in the first quarter and ESM held the 6-0 lead until the third quarter, when Amityville was able to score its first touchdown. ESM’s Justin Pugal blocked the extra-point attempt to keep the score tied at 6-6.
Amityville scored again midway through the fourth quarter on a 27-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Collin Koward to tight-end Gary Looney. Again, the extra point was no good, which proved costly for the Warriors.
ESM head coach Paul Mastronardi was happy with the fact that his team was able to rush the ball—Zeller and Jake Hobbie combined to rush for 206 yards—while keeping Amityville’s offense to a lowly 55 yards on the ground. ESM quarterback Austin Macchi was 5 for 7 passing for 75 yards.
ESM’s Mike Bianco, who had 18 tackles, a number of them for a loss, to go along with two sacks, said the defense’s game plan was to jam the Warriors at the line of scrimmage.
“Our defense was great,” he said. “We had a couple of misplays, but besides that, we played great. Our offense drove up the field on our last drive and finished up the game for us.”
ESM will host Islip on Saturday at 2 p.m. in what is the homecoming game for the Sharks. The Buccaneers lost 28-7 in week one at top-ranked Miller Place. ESM is taking things one game at a time.
“Our team is looking good but we just have to go game by game,” Zeller said. “We can’t get too hyped up.”