Like ghostly figures from a horror flick, they slowly emerged from the thick fog that had eerily descended upon Dorrie Jackson Memorial Field, making for a rather surreal scene. The dejected looks on the faces of the Greenport/Southold/Mattituck players reflected the pain they undoubtedly felt in their hearts as they quietly trudged by on the rain-soaked field.
The Porters knew they lost a lot more than a high school football game.
With a heartbreaking 8-6 loss to Port Jefferson on Friday night, it appears as if Greenport has said goodbye to its playoff chances. The Porters last reached the postseason in 2013.
What made it particularly painful for the Porters (3-4 in Suffolk County Division IV) was how close they had come (the game was essentially decided by a two-point conversion made and a two-point conversion missed) and self-inflicted damage. When it comes to penalties, the Porters have been pretty good this season — except for Friday night. Entering the game, they had averaged 5.6 penalties per game. On Friday they were whistled for 11 at a cost of 65 yards.
And then there was the physical pain felt by Jake Skrezec. On the sixth play from scrimmage, Skrezec limped off the field after a carry. The Greenport senior appeared to have injured his left knee and never returned to the game. Coach Jack Martilotta said he didn’t know the nature or extent of the injury.
Greenport’s defense, with inspired play by Gage Suglia, Chance Anderson and Keegan Syron, turned in quite an effort, holding Port Jefferson (5-2) to only 118 yards of offense.
But the Royals scored on their first possession, driving 75 yards, the last 30 coming on a 30-yard pass from Jack Collins to a wide open Sean Griffin. Brian Mark’s run after made it 8-0.
Greenport needed a big play and got one when Tashan Lawrence recovered his own onside kick to start the second half, giving the Porters the ball at the Port Jefferson 38-yard line. Greenport advanced to the 15 before fumbling the ball away, though.
No matter, Greenport scored on its next possession. Four runs by Suglia (20 carries, 87 yards) set up Sean Sepenoski’s 14-yard strike to Jordan Fonseca in the end zone. Suglia, however, was stopped short on the two-point attempt.
In the fourth quarter, an eight-play Greenport drive, which included three false-start penalties, ended when Fonseca’s run on a fake punt went for a seven-yard loss.
Greenport got the ball back with 2 minutes, 33 seconds left, but managed to move only 15 yards on eight plays before turning the ball over on downs. Collins then took a knee and it was over — the game and Greenport’s playoff hopes.
Photo caption: Greenport/Southold/Mattituck’s Jordan Fonseca tries to escape the grasp of Port Jefferson’s Joey Evangelista. (Credit: Garret Meade)