Even in what can be considered an off year for both high school football teams, the Bellport-Riverhead rivalry is intense.
When Bellport red meets Riverhead blue, there is going to be intensity and added emotion.
Given that understanding, imagine what must have been running through Marcus Reid’s mind on Saturday. Reid used to live in Bellport and played middle school football there. Now, however, he is a member of the Riverhead varsity team, and he perhaps as much as anyone wanted to show what he could do in the latest chapter of this series.
Reid, a senior, ran for 127 yards and two touchdowns as the Blue Waves celebrated their homecoming in style with a 28-8 thrashing of Bellport at Coach Mike McKillop Memorial Field.
The Blue Waves (3-4), who started the day in fifth place in Suffolk County Division II, bounced back from one-sided losses to Newfield (by 45-7) and Half Hollow Hills West (by 42-7). They had built a 22-0 lead by the time the second quarter was 3 minutes 27 seconds old, after the speedy Sharron Trent caught a swing pass from Tristan Falisi (6 of 11, 135 yards) and outraced the defense 70 yards to the end zone, followed by Nico Bossey’s extra point. It was the first of two touchdown passes by Falisi.
Reid fumbled on his first carry of the game, but more than made up for it soon after. In the first quarter he ran up the middle and somehow wriggled himself out of a bear hug by Bellport’s Eddy Reyes-Rivera before finishing a 30-yard touchdown run. Ryun Moore ran for the 2-point conversion.
A nifty 25-yard shovel pass from Falisi to Blake Carrara set up Riverhead’s second touchdown on the next play, an 11-yard pass to Tommy Powers on the final play of the first quarter.
Bellport (1-6), coming off its only win of the season (over West Islip), picked up its only touchdown on a 12-play, 65-yard drive that ended with Darrell Carson running the ball in from 3 yards out. James Morrell ran for the additional 2 points.
Any question of a Bellport comeback, however, seemed erased with Reid’s second touchdown at 2:30 of the third quarter when he darted from one direction to another and went on a 40-yard dash to score.
Riverhead’s defense was led by Kyle Pipczynski (8 tackles, 2 assists), Moore (8 tackles, 1 interception, 1 sack), Mike Woolley (8 tackles, 1 assist) and Tyrese Kerr (6 tackles, 4 tackles for loss and 2 sacks).
Bellport’s quarterback, Morrell, completed 11 of 19 passes for 126 yards. He was intercepted once.
Photo: The Riverhead Blue Waves charge onto Coach Mike McKillop Memorial Field for their homecoming game against Bellport on Saturday. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)