One player doesn’t make a high school football team. One player, on the other hand, can make a big difference.
And in the case of Greenport/Southold/Mattituck on Friday night, it was two players — seniors Kyle Schultz and Keegan Syron.
Injuries to the two players — both two-way starters — hurt the Porters against Wyandanch.
Syron, a running back and linebacker, took a helmet to his left knee on the third play from scrimmage while being knocked out of bounds on a run and sat out the remainder of the first half. He was a solitary figure on the bench until he was joined by Schultz later in the half. The Porters feared Schultz, a center and defensive end, separated his shoulder, although coach Jack Martilotta said he didn’t know for sure.
Syron only played defense in the second half, but Schultz was done for the night. Meanwhile, Wyandanch put a damper on Greenport’s homecoming festivities by posting a 36-16 victory at Dorrie Jackson Memorial Field.
The Suffolk County Division IV game had started so promisingly for Greenport (3-2), too. Kicker Tashan Lawrence successfully executed an onside kick on the opening kickoff that Gage Suglia recovered. Syron, who entered the game with 644 rushing yards (ranking him seventh on Long Island, according to Newsday), ran for 28 yards on Greenport’s first three plays. Then, on the next snap following Syron’s injury, teammate Jake Skrezec took the ball and charged 13 yards with it into the end zone. His two-point run made it 8-0.
In Syron’s absence from the backfield, the speedy Skrezec made good use of his heavier workload, piling up 161 yards from 30 carries.
The teams traded leads a couple of times before Alonte Shipp’s touchdown run put Wyandanch (4-1) ahead, 20-16, with 7 minutes, 34 seconds left in the second quarter.
Wyandanch secured the win with second-half touchdown runs by Christian Flowers and Brandon McLin.
The Warriors’ other touchdowns came on a 12-yard quarterback keeper by Alexander Odle and a 29-yard pass from Flowers to Jamonie Berry.
Like Skrezec, Suglia ran for his second touchdown of the season. Suglia also ran in a two-point conversion after his TD, spotting the Porters a 16-14 edge with 1:43 to go in the first quarter.
Photo caption: Greenport/Southold/Mattituck’s Keegan Syron running the ball moments before being hit on his left knee by a Wyandanch helmet. (Credit: Daniel De Mato)