Going into a Week Five battle with Shoreham/Wading River, Hampton Bays head football coach Mike Oestreicher knew that getting a win against the Wildcats and their high-octane offense was going to be a tall order. But he expected his team to at least put up a fight.
That’s not what transpired in Hampton Bays on Friday night.
Less than four minutes into the game, the Baymen were facing a 14-0 deficit, and before ten minutes had ticked off the clock, they were down 21-0. It was 35-0 before a 62-yard touchdown run by Taylor Catz got Hampton Bays on the board, but it was clearly too little, too late, as the Baymen lost, 45-14.
Shoreham improved to 4-1, while the Baymen fell to 1-4.
“I was not expecting things to go that way,” Oestreicher said. “People were not in the right places, we had personnel issues, we had injury issues. It definitely did not go according to plan. We knew the task was going to be lofty, but we didn’t really play well on top of it.
“[Shoreham] is very clearly the second best team in the conference,” Oestreicher continued. “We knew it was going to be difficult to beat them. I didn’t expect to make as many of the mistakes we made early on. That’s what’s frustrating.”
The numbers were not good for Hampton Bays. Shoreham had six possessions in the first half, and scored on five of them. They failed to score on all six only because time ran out at halftime. In the second half, the Wildcats scored on two of three possessions, again failing to score on all three only because the game ended. The Wildcats did not punt or turn the ball over on downs once.
“That’s a bad performance defensively,” Oestreicher said.
Shoreham racked up 540 yards of total offense, rushing the ball 35 times for 474 yards. Catz was a bright spot for the Baymen, scoring both of his team’s touchdowns. He had 19 carries for 141 yards. Fullback Cody Nolan also played well, carrying the ball 13 times for 57 yards.
Despite having just one win, the Baymen still have a chance to make the playoffs. Oestreicher said his team will likely need to win two of its final three games to get in, and if the Baymen can win all three, they could get seeded as high as fourth or fifth. The first order of business will be beating Stony Brook at home this Friday night, in what is essentially a must-win game. The Bears (1-4) are probably the most beatable team on the Baymen’s very tough schedule this year. Hampton Bays will also face Mount Sinai (4-1) and Greenport/Southold (5-0) to conclude the season.
“Losing this weekend will probably cost us playoffs,” Oestreicher said. “But I feel like it’s a game we can win. If the team we expected to have at the start of the season plays on Friday night, we’ll be fine. If the team that played the last two Friday nights shows up, we’ll be in trouble. We have to decide which team we want to be on Friday night.”
The Baymen and Stony Brook will square off at 7 p.m.