PORTERS 38, WARRIORS 0
The 13-game losing streak is history.
Greenport/Southold/Mattituck happily bid it farewell Thursday night by not only snapping the skid, but obliterating it. Wyandanch was the unfortunate football team that got in the way.
“It’s gone, gone, gone, nowhere to be found,” proclaimed Connor Andersen, the Porters’ happy fullback and middle linebacker.
Matt Drinkwater threw for three touchdowns and ran for another as the Porters dominated their season opener, a 38-0 trouncing of Wyandanch. The game at Greenport High School’s Dorrie Jackson Memorial Field was stopped with 7 minutes 11 seconds left in the fourth quarter when the Wyandanch quarterback, Taquan Brooks, suffered what appeared to be a serious leg injury during a scramble for a fumble. While preparations were being made to carry Brooks into a Greenport Fire Department Rescue Squad vehicle, officials decided to end the game.
Talking about his team’s performance, Drinkwater said, “I think the score speaks for itself.”
Perhaps “shouts for itself” would be more like it.
No. 13 seed Greenport/Southold/Mattituck and No. 14 Wyandanch are the two lowest-seeded teams in Suffolk County Division IV, but the Porters didn’t play like a No. 13 seed as they posted their first win since September of 2011 when they beat Stony Brook. The combination of Drinkwater’s all-around play and the shutout performance by the Porters’ defense was too much for Wyandanch to handle.
Drinkwater played unquestionably the best game of his career. The junior quarterback went 5 of 9 passing for 71 yards, with three of those completions going for touchdowns, two by Gene Allen, the other by Christian Angelson. Drinkwater did all of his damage over the first three quarters; he was spelled at quarterback in the fourth quarter by Dylan Marlborough.
Drinkwater credited the large offensive line in front of him. “I really want to attribute a lot of that to our offensive line,” he said. “I had plenty of time today. The pockets were great, the throwing lanes were great, and I was able to find the open guy. I had time.”
Drinkwater didn’t do badly as an outside linebacker, either. He spearheaded the tough Porters defense with a game-high 8 tackles (two for a loss), a sack and a pass deflected.
The Porters limited Wyandanch to 79 yards in offense (52 rushing and 27 passing) and five first downs. Three Warriors finished the game with minus rushing yardage, and Brooks was sacked four times. Wyandanch went 1 for 9 on third-down plays and completed only three passes.
“We stopped their run game,” Andersen said. “We were a little worried about their pass game, but we shut that down real quick.”
Another factor was penalties, 13 of which cost Wyandanch 75 yards.
It wasn’t Drinkwater’s arm, but his legs that opened the scoring 8:08 into the game when he darted into the end zone on a 31-yard quarterback keeper.
A punt block by Sal Loverde and recovery by Jon Bakowski set up the Porters’ second score, a 20-yard field goal by John Drinkwater, Matt’s twin brother, six seconds into the second quarter.
Matt Drinkwater then hooked up with Allen for touchdown connections of 12 and 32 yards, helping to make the score 24-0 by halftime.
A 24-yard reception by Angelson in the third quarter and a 3-yard run by Bill McAllister in the fourth accounted for the last two touchdowns.
“Our offense and our defense are both clicking amazingly,” Matt Drinkwater said. “We’re putting it all together now. We have a chance to do something really special with this team.”
The Porters were disciplined, committing only two penalties, one of which nullified what would have been the game’s most electrifying play, a 67-yard punt return for a touchdown by Allen.
The game was brought to an early end when Brooks was injured while pursuing a fumble from a botched handoff. Allen said one of his teammates, Tyshe Williams, rolled on Brooks’ left leg, which medical personnel later put in an air cast.
Porters coach Jack Martilotta said his team is different from last year’s squad in many ways. “We were able to get the kids into the weight room and get them lifting, and there’s a certain pride I feel that they have in this now,” he said.
It is also apparent that the Porters grew tired of losing, whether it be by blowouts, close games or anything in between, and were determined to do something about it. Still, the dramatic turnaround was glaring.
When one of his teammates was asked if he was surprised at how one-sided the game was, Allen smiled and interjected. “It’s not hard to believe,” he said. “We’re supposed to be doing this.”