PORTERS 21, BEARS 6
Now people will know who No. 18 is on the Greenport/Southold/Mattituck high school football team.
That wasn’t necessarily the case before Friday night’s game at The Stony Brook School. Not only wasn’t Dominick Panetta’s uniform number listed next to his name on the team roster, but his name was misspelled and he was listed as a sophomore (he is a junior).
Well, based on what he did in his varsity debut, the 6-foot-1, 200-pound Panetta should be accorded greater respect in the future. In his first game for the Porters, Panetta caught a touchdown pass, made two interceptions (returning one for a touchdown) and recorded 4 tackles.
Guess who the unquestioned player of the game was in the Porters’ 21-6 win at Buyers Park?
Panetta’s play helped the Porters (1-1 Suffolk County Division IV) score 21 unanswered points. He caught a swing pass to the left from Matt Drinkwater and raced 12 yards to tie the score at 6-6 in the second quarter. A fumble recovery by Garrett Malave at the Porters’ 24-yard line preceded that drive.
The course of the game may have changed on the second-half kickoff — and what a strange “kickoff” it was. Stony Brook (1-1) attempted some trickiness, but it backfired badly. Erik Holvik lined up to kick, but then ran over the ball, leaving it for Sam Ajewole, who swiped at the ball, barely grazing it. The ball hardly moved, giving the Porters possession at the Stony Brook 40. Two plays later the Porters were in the end zone. Tristin Ireland broke two tackles as he found his way in from 30 yards out. John Drinkwater’s extra point made it 13-6.
Stony Brook resorted to some trickery again in the fourth quarter, and it nearly paid off. The Bears blew a golden scoring opportunity on a halfback option. Holvik took the snap from center, tossed the ball back to Ben Walter, who let go a long pass downfield for the wide open Chikwem Ihekweazu, but the ball slipped through his hands. On the next play, Panetta darted in front of a Holvik pass and took it 32 yards in the other direction for his second touchdown of the night. Ireland ran in the 2-point conversion.
Stony Brook’s next two possessions ended with interceptions by Panetta and Timmy Stevens. Panetta had 62 yards in interception returns alone.
The game had started promisingly for Stony Brook. On his team’s fifth play from scrimmage, a fourth-and-5 play, Holvik aired out a 55-yard pass to Walter streaking down the left side for 6-0 lead.
It was a choppy first half for the Porters, who were slowed by bad snaps and penalties.
The Stony Brook defense was tough, with Hunter Skorobohaty making a game-high 11 tackles and David Jensen making 9, one of them being a sack.
Both teams had their struggles moving the ball at times. In fact, only one third down was converted between the two teams in the whole game. The Porters went 1 for 8 and Stony Brook went 0 for 9.
A big difference were the four turnovers by Stony Brook, to none by the Porters.
Stony Brook was undoubtedly hurt when Walter gingerly walked off the field in the second quarter with an apparent ankle injury. He returned to the game later in the quarter with his right ankle taped but didn’t look the same, finishing with only 36 yards from 12 carries. Only three of those runs came in the second half.