It was a tale of two halves for the Hampton Bays football team in its Division IV opener at Elwood/John Glenn on Thursday afternoon.
In the first half, it looked as though the Baymen were going to pull off another road win over the traditionally strong team, a feat they accomplished last year in a game that went down to the wire. A 24-yard pass from Ryan Palazzolo to Ryan Cavanaugh and a 45-yard run by Taylor Catz put the Baymen up, 12-0, after one quarter, and after Glenn cut the lead to 12-7, a 25-yard field goal by Darrel Galicia just before the half put Hampton Bays up, 15-7.
But it was all Glenn after that.
The Knights broke out for 22 points in the third quarter and tacked on another 14 in the fourth, while the Baymen offense went cold, resulting in a 43-15 romp for the Knights.
The Baymen were hampered in the second half by the loss of Catz, the team’s top scoring threat. Catz went into the game dealing with a nagging injury, and that injury forced him to the sidelines for the second half. Several other players had some “dings,” according to Hampton Bays head coach Mike Oestreicher, which made it difficult for his team to compete in the second half.
“When Taylor goes down, it puts a gaping hole in what we do,” he said. “I think when he goes down, I don’t know if we got deflated or ran out of gas. But a couple of things transpired, and our guys just surrendered.”
Catz re-aggravated a muscle injury in the second quarter but played through the pain. He tried to give it a go in the second half, but Oestreicher kept him on the sidelines once it was clear that Catz wasn’t himself.
“He just wasn’t healthy enough,” Oestreicher said. “And we need him for the long haul. Once we went down by two scores, I wasn’t going to put him back in.”
Oestreicher added that his team’s collective inexperience may have been a factor in the loss as well. While the Baymen returned a good core of talented players, he pointed out that only four players—Catz, Cody Nolan, Cavanaugh and Galicia—have true varsity experience.
“This year, we’re very young,” Oestreicher said. “Other than our core guys, most of the seniors have no varsity playing experience. I had 22 seniors last year. John Glenn is not a good way to get your feet wet.”
Hampton Bays will try to pick up its first win when it hosts Port Jefferson under the lights on its new turf field on Friday at 7 p.m. The Royals beat Southampton, 35-12, in their season opener on September 7.