PANTHERS 35, PORTERS 0
The 2014 high school football season for Rick Punzone began in the same place where his reign as Babylon’s head coach began 11 years ago — in Greenport. And the result, not surprisingly, was the same, another win by powerhouse Babylon.
Babylon, the Long Island Class IV champion for the past two years, brought Punzone a milestone. He became the first Babylon coach to pick up his 100th career win, courtesy of a 35-0 blanking of Greenport/Southold/Mattituck at Dorrie Jackson Memorial Field on Friday night. After Babylon’s 25th consecutive win, the longest such streak on Long Island, the game ball was presented to Punzone, who exchanged handshakes and hugs with his players.
The game got off to an uncharacteristically shaky start for Babylon, the second-seeded team in Suffolk County Division IV. Two of its first three offensive plays were a bad snap for a 16-yard loss and an interception by the Porters’ Matt Drinkwater. A Drinkwater punt backed Babylon to its own 4-yard line and the Panthers had to punt after three plays.
Quite unusual for Babylon, a football factory that received the Rutgers Trophy last year, recognition for being the top team in Suffolk.
But it didn’t take the Panthers long to get into form. They scored touchdowns on successive plays from scrimmage. Quarterback Ron Woodhull shook off a couple of tacklers, breaking free for a 60-yard touchdown run. Then Stephen Schweitzer jumped in front of a swing pass and took off 32 yards to the end zone.
Jerry Brown scored the first of his two touchdowns on the first play of the second quarter — a 76-yard scamper — to help make the score 21-0. Brown later took a lateral in for a score from 9 yards out, giving him 90 yards from four carries. Ronnie Pashun’s extra point made it 35-0 with 4:32 left in the second quarter.
Earlier, Woodhull had lofted a 41-yard touchdown pass to James Marron, who had pulled behind the defense.
In the second quarter, Babylon pulled its starting quarterback, Woodhull, replacing him with sophomore Griffin Schulz, who had no trouble moving the team for its final touchdown.
The most telling numbers at halftime, even more than the score, were the yards in offense; Babylon had 185 to the Porters’ 17.
Before the start of the third quarter, a game official instructed the clock operator to turn off the scoreboard clock. Both the clock and the score were wiped off the bright scoreboard, irritating the home fans.
The best scoring chance for the eighth-seeded Porters came during the game’s final minutes. The Porters had advanced the ball to the Babylon 3 when time ran out.