The spectators who turned out at Hampton Bays High School’s Doug Oakland Athletic Complex Friday night came to see a performance, and they sure saw one. It might not have been the performance the home fans were looking for, but the Ev Corwin Show was impressive, nonetheless.
Corwin scored his first three varsity touchdowns — one on an exhilarating kickoff return — and rushed for 129 yards as Greenport/Southold/Mattituck ran away to a 39-12 Suffolk County Division IV victory over the Baymen.
“When he has space, he’s gone,” quarterback Gavin Richards said. “That’s Ev.”
It began right from the opening kickoff. Corwin caught Eustorgio Urbano’s kick, surged forward toward the middle, then bounced out to the left and raced 79 yards untouched to the end zone.
Corwin attributed that TD to film study and sound advice from coach Tim McArdle.
“We were watching film,” Corwin said. “He said, ‘If you get that kick return, make sure you bring it in and kick it out and it’s gonna work.’ And that’s exactly what happened.”
“I can’t lie,” Corwin said. “On that kickoff, as soon as it hit my hand, I was feeling good.”
Soon after that, he must have felt even better.
After Hampton Bays punted following its first possession, Greenport’s first offensive play, a handoff to Corwin, saw the senior running back break a few tackles and bolt down the left side, 65 yards for another score. Two Corwin touches, two touchdowns. The Porters led, 12-0, just 3 minutes, 48 seconds into the game.
The word among Corwin’s teammates is that all he needs is an opening, and then he’s gone. “Once he gets a little bit of space he can outrun anyone,” said Jay Tramontana.
Corwin demonstrated that on his third score, a 20-yarder in the second quarter. He started to his left and, finding no openings there, cut back to his right and sped into the corner of the end zone.
“We see it in practice,” McArdle said. “He’s elusive, he works hard — He definitely has a lot of ability.”
It was only moments before that TD when Richards absorbed a hard hit on a run and had to sit out a play. Corwin moved to quarterback, took a snap from center and ran for what appeared to be a 30-yard TD, only for it to be nullified by a holding penalty.
Greenport (2-1) benefited by the return of left guard Dom Giovanniello, who exited early in last week’s loss to Port Jefferson with what McArdle called “head issues.” That line, with tight end Hunter Anderson, left tackle Franklin Mastrangelo, center Julio Coc Thomas, right guard Diego Giron and right tackle Scott Ferguson, helped the Porters outrush Hampton Bays, 169-44.
On the fourth play from scrimmage in the third quarter, a snap sailed over the head of Hampton Bays punter Patrick Donahue. Tramontana came up with the ball in the end zone.
Greenport’s next series concluded with a 3-yard TD pass from Richards to Rudy Bruer. Danny Breen’s extra point made it 33-6.
The Porters closed the scoring when Carlos Rodriguez hopped into the end zone from a yard out with 2:41 left.
Brenden Syron and Tramontana (six tackles each) led a Greenport defense that kept Hampton Bays (0-3) 0-for-7 on third-down attempts. That defense did a commendable job against powerful Hampton Bays running back Cooper Shay (12 carries, 57 yards).
“He was really strong,” Tramontana said. “It’s been a while since we’ve gone up against someone who’s that strong as a runner.”
Kazmin Pensa Johnson (8-for-15, 109 yards) threw a pair of 20-yard TD passes to Donahue (four catches, 80 yards) for Hampton Bays’ points.
“You know, coming off a loss, that’s always tough, but coming off a loss to get a win like this, that’s huge for any team in any sport, especially football,” Richards said. “So, I know we need to feed off this, run into John Glenn [next Saturday], get a win there and keep moving on.”
It was quite a night for Corwin, who ran for 25 yards against Wyandanch and 37 against Port Jefferson. “Everybody played a great game today, so that’s what happens when everybody plays good,” he said. “One player usually steals the shine, but it’s everybody. It’s a group effort.”
Corwin made his first trips to the end zone, but probably not his last. “Definitely not,” he said.
Porters fans undoubtedly want a command performance.