The high school football season started early, but Wyandanch was late.
It was a little over an hour before kickoff time, and Greenport’s athletic director, Jim Caliendo, seemed anxious as he kept a lookout for the Wyandanch team bus, which should have arrived at Greenport High School a while ago. When the Warriors and their bus finally pulled into a school parking lot, Greenport/Southold/Mattituck — and particularly its defense — was ready for them.
Wyandanch, for its part, didn’t look ready.
Jake Skrezec, a junior playing in his first varsity game, made three interceptions as the Porters’ defense impressed in a 16-12 season-opening win on a cool, breezy Friday night.
Keegan Syron, a junior making his first varsity start, scored his first career touchdown on a run and Tristin Ireland ran for another touchdown as the Porters took a 16-6 lead in the third quarter of the Suffolk County Division IV game at Dorrie Jackson Memorial Field. Ireland and Dylan Marlborough, who made his first varsity start at quarterback, ran for 2-point conversions after those scores.
The Porters surrendered 385 yards to Wyandanch, but while the Porters bent at times on defense, they didn’t break, with a couple of exceptions.
Skrezec’s interceptions, Syron’s hard hitting (the middle linebacker made a game-high nine tackles) and fine defensive play from others, such as Dominick Panetta and Zach Holmes, had limited Wyandanch to only 6 points for much of the game (from a 95-yard dash by Christian Flowers on the third play of the third quarter. Flowers had 135 yards from 13 carries).
The Porters made some big plays on defense, including three sacks as well as a fumble recovery by Joshua Stoeckert.
Wyandanch made things interesting when Matthew Rosa ran the ball 22 yards to the end zone with 3 minutes 14 seconds left in the game, cutting the Porters’ lead to 16-12. The extra point attempt was blocked by Kyle Schultz.
After the Porters failed to pick up a first down, Wyandanch took possession of the ball on its own 44-yard line following a 15-yard punt. But two penalties and back-to-back sacks by Tyler Corrigan and Holmes pushed the Warriors back to their own 21, where they lost the ball on downs, enabling the Porters to take a knee on the final play.
Marlborough looked composed and sure of himself. The senior, who throws a tight spiral, completed 8 of 15 passes for 71 yards. One of his passes was intercepted.
Wyandanch, playing its first game under its new head coach, Dwight Singleton, was often its own worst enemy. A sign that this wasn’t going to be Wyandanch’s night came before the first play from scrimmage when the Warriors were whistled for having too many players on the field. A series of penalties hindered the Warriors time and time again. They were called for 14 penalties that cost them 101 yards. Among them were five holding penalties and two calls for delay of game.
Despite the pleasant weather, players from both teams suffered cramps, surprising the Porters’ coach, Jack Martilotta, who didn’t want to venture a guess as to how many players dealt with muscle issues.
Both teams are coming off seasons they would prefer to forget. Wyandanch canceled its final game last year after a fire reportedly destroyed much of the team’s equipment, leaving the Warriors winless at 0-8. The Porters forfeit their final two games after they fell short of healthy players because of injuries and finished 2-6.