Perhaps nothing bolsters pride in a football team’s defense as much as looking up at the scoreboard at the end of a game and seeing a zero lit up next to the opposing team’s name.
That was what Greenport/Southold/Mattituck was able to do with satisfaction on Saturday after it shut down East Hampton/Bridgehampton’s offense and triumphed, 22-0, in a Suffolk County Division IV contest. The Porters (3-1) capped the first half of their regular season in style at East Hampton High School, holding the Bonackers (2-2) to only 45 yards of total offense, including minus-2 yards passing from the Bonackers’ sole completion of the day.
Tristin Ireland ran for 56 yards and a touchdown. The senior running back also caught five passes for 70 yards.
It was Ireland’s touchdown that essentially sealed the result late in the third quarter. He lowered his shoulder into a defender and rammed the ball in from 7 yards out for his fourth rushing touchdown of the season. Dylan Marlborough’s pass to Ireland for the 2-point conversion made it 22-0.
The Porters had taken a 14-0 lead on touchdown runs by Keegan Syron and Marlborough (the third of the season for both of them) in the first two quarters. Marlborough passed to Zach Holmes for 2 points after his touchdown.
Syron’s touchdown came on a fourth-down play. The Porters excelled on fourth-down conversions, going 5 of 6.
Syron, who made eight tackles, left the game late in the third quarter with an ankle injury. Porters coach Jack Martilotta said he kept him out in light of the three-touchdown lead his team held.
Marlborough had a good game passing the ball for 132 yards; he completed 11 of 18 passes.
Although the Porters’ special teams had some adventures and put their defense in tough spots at times, the defense held firm.
Perhaps East Hampton/Bridgehampton’s best scoring chance came in the game’s opening minutes. A 72-yard kickoff return by Brandon Johnson set the Bonackers up at the Porters’ 6-yard line. But the Bonackers were pushed back from there, with two tackles for losses and an incomplete pass. Then a 27-yard field-goal attempt by Luis Aguilar was blocked by Mike Goodale.
To start the second half, a shanked kickoff by the Bonackers incredibly went untouched by the Porters and East Hampton/Bridgehampton’s Yerlin Linares, a first-year player who looked confused for a moment, fell on the ball, giving the Bonackers possession at the Porters’ 25. Again, the Porters’ defense came to the rescue. The Bonackers turned the ball over on downs.
Early in the fourth quarter, the Bonackers saw a drive come to an end when the Porters’ Gauge Suglia came up with a fumble recovery at his team’s own 19.
Photo: Keegan Syron takes a handoff from Dylan Marlborough before running the ball in for a touchdown and a 6-0 Greenport/Southold/Mattituck lead in the first quarter. (Credit: Daniel De Mato)