The Westhampton Beach football team is back on track after its latest victory, a 31-7 drubbing of Comsewogue at home on Friday night.
The victory improves the Hurricanes to 2-2 in Division III, with 97.7 power points, which places them 10th, but only eight points separate the Hurricanes and teams vying for the eighth and final playoff spot in the division.
Westhampton Beach has been jumping on teams early this season and it continued that theme on Friday. Zach Rignola caught a 45-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Stephen Tagliavia five minutes into the game. Then, as time expired in the first quarter, Tagliavia hooked up with Tim Hoare on a 19-yard touchdown pass, and the Hurricanes had a commanding 13-0 lead.
Patrick Dean scored on a 1-yard run and Hoare caught the two-point conversion from Tagliavia to put Westhampton Beach up, 21-0, with 4:58 remaining in the first half. Late in the third quarter, Max Pastor hit a school record 48-yard field goal that put the Canes up, 24-0.
Comsewogue scored its first touchdown with 5:16 remaining in the game, but the Canes answered a few minutes later when Nick Einstman ran 10 yards for a touchdown. Pastor’s extra point created the final score.
“We did pretty well,” Westhampton Beach head coach Bill Parry said. “We got on them early and pretty much never let up.”
The main game plan, at least on the defensive side of the ball for the Canes, was to stop Comsewogue running back Adi Nelson, who was scouted earlier this season by the University of Notre Dame. While Nelson did amass 169 yards on the ground, Westhampton Beach kept him out of the end zone.
“We had a real good plan to keep him in check,” Parry said of Nelson. “Every time we tackled him we tackled him with three or four guys. He stepped out of bounds three times because we were pursuing him so aggressively. I don’t think he wanted to get hit again.”
“I think we were very physical this week,” he added. “We pursued the ball very well.”
Dean finished with 125 yards rushing on 16 carries while Evan Gagne ran the ball for 106 yards on 11 carries. Parry said Gagne was also very active in the blocking game for the Canes. Tagliavia was 5 for 9 passing for 84 yards and the two touchdowns. Hoare caught two passes for 22 yards.
Westhampton Beach will be facing maybe its toughest test this week when it hosts 3-1 Huntington. The Blue Devils were preranked second in the division but did suffer their first loss to Sayville last week. Huntington is led by quarterback Ben Kocis, who is deadly not only with his legs but with his arm.
“The goal is to get better every week,” Parry said. “We’ve been getting better the past couple of weeks. Every week were looking how we could matchup.”