Articles by

Joe Werkmeister

10/01/14 9:00pm
Riverhead junior William Mitchell eludes a final tackler on an 81-yard kickoff return for a touchdown Wednesday against Hills West. (Credit: Robert O'Rourk)

Riverhead junior William Mitchell eludes a final tackler on an 81-yard kickoff return for a touchdown Wednesday against Hills West. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)

COLTS 42, BLUE WAVES 28

Ray Lyte made his varsity debut on the Half Hollow Hills West football team as a freshman three years ago as a call-up during the playoffs. Hoping to make an impact as a sophomore, his season was wiped out by a broken wrist. Then last year, as a junior, injuries again kept him in and out of the lineup.

“Last year I was the ‘injur-bug,’ ” Lyte said.

Now healthy for his senior season, Lyte has become a key player for the Colts, although his role on offense has been mostly limited. Through three games and the first half of Wednesday’s game against Riverhead, Lyte hadn’t gotten more than four carries in a game.

That trend continued for the first half against the Blue Waves in Dix Hills on a rare mid-week game. After the Colts saw a 14-0 lead turn into a 21-14 hole, their offense switched gears. Lyte, a speedster who can attack the outside, became the focal point in an offense that exploded for four second-half touchdowns.

Lyte scored twice, helping the Colts to a 42-28 Division II victory while handing the Blue Waves their first loss of the season. Lyte continually burned the Blue Waves (3-1) on runs to the outside and he tallied 89 yards in the second half on 10 carries. His 3-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter broke a 28-28 tie and put the Colts ahead for good.

“I had a lot of rest in the first half,” Lyte said. “I was just playing defense. So I was more energized coming out.”

Lyte’s running, combined with the arm of quarterback Anthony Lucarelli, overwhelmed the Riverhead defense in the second half. Lucarelli picked apart the Blue Waves’ secondary, completing 8 of 10 passes for 203 yards and two touchdowns.

“They scouted us well,” said Riverhead coach Leif Shay. “They knew we had a weakness on the perimeter. We weren’t able to set the edge. They were able to get the edge and they kept going to it.”

After trailing 14-0 in the first half, the Blue Waves bounced back to tie the game at the half with a pair of rushing touchdowns from Ryun Moore.

Riverhead appeared to be taking control of the game at the start of the third quarter. The Blue Waves forced a three-and-out on the Colts’ first possession, powered by a pair of sacks. Riverhead got the ball back and Moore ripped off two big runs to set up a 6-yard touchdown run by William Mitchell that gave Riverhead a 21-14 lead.

But it was all Hills West the rest of the way. The Colts (4-0) outscored Riverhead 28-7 over the remainder of the game. Riverhead’s lone score during that stretch came on an 81-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Mitchell that tied the game at 28. The Colts answered that score with a nine-play drive — their longest of the game — to retake the lead, 35-28.

The Blue Waves relied heavily on the running game until the score tipped against their favor in the fourth. Moore finished with 135 yards on 21 carries. Mitchell added 32 yards on 10 carries.

Lyte walked away from the game impressed with what he saw from Moore.

“Ryun Moore is probably one of the best backs I’ve ever seen in this division,” he said.

The Blue Waves have overcome regular season losses in each of the past two seasons that ended with a county championship. In Week 2 last year, the Blue Waves lost 50-36 at East Islip before beating the Redmen in the county championship. Two years ago, the Blue Waves lost twice in the regular season.

“It’s a black-and-blue division,” Shay said. “Whoever limps out of it is going to play for a Long Island Championship.”

joew@timesreview.com

10/01/14 8:55am
Troy Trent and Raheem Brown celebrate during the Blue Waves' win over Smithtown East Sept. 20. (Credit: Robert O'Rourk, file)

Troy Trent and Raheem Brown celebrate during the Blue Waves’ win over Smithtown East Sept. 20. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk, file)

Welcome to Wednesday Night Lights.

With Yom Kippur Saturday, the Week 4 high school football games will be played this afternoon as opposed to the typical Friday night/Saturday afternoon schedule. (more…)

09/20/14 5:24pm
Troy Trent and Raheem Brown celebrate during the Blue Waves' win over Smithtown East Saturday. (Credit: Robert O'Rourk)

Troy Trent and Raheem Brown celebrate during the Blue Waves’ win over Smithtown East Saturday. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)

BLUE WAVES 39, BULLS 27

Riverhead quarterback Kenny Simco threw for three touchdowns and running back Ryun Moore rushed for two more as the Blue Waves defeated Smithtown West Saturday afternoon, 39-27, at Coach Mike McKillop Memorial Field.  (more…)

09/19/14 9:52pm
Shoreham-Wading River coach Matt Millheiser receive a surprise ice shower after the Wildcats' upset victory over Babylon Friday. (Credit: Joe Werkmeister)

Shoreham-Wading River coach Matt Millheiser receive a surprise ice shower after the Wildcats’ upset victory over Babylon Friday. (Credit: Joe Werkmeister)

WILDCATS 9, PANTHERS 7

The memory is still fresh in the mind of Daniel Hughes. Two years ago. Under the lights in Babylon. The Wildcats were 5-1, and eager to prove they belonged in the upper echelon of Division IV.

On a night that ended like so many before in Babylon, the Wildcats limped away, their egos bruised, in a stinging 55-0 loss. A month later, the Panthers were Long Island champions, in the midst of a 25-game win streak they carried into Friday night.

“I’ve never had something as bad as that in my life,” Hughes said.

Losses against Babylon continued again last year, once in the regular season, again in the playoffs, 42-13.

The Wildcats returned to Babylon Friday, once again eager to prove a point.

And this time, they delivered.

In a defensive battle that came down to the very end, the Wildcats emerged 9-7 winners to hand the Panthers their first loss since the county championship game in 2011 against John Glenn. The Wildcats forced three turnovers, controlled field position throughout and relied on a physical, stout defense to hand the Panthers their first regular season loss since Oct. 1, 2011.

The Wildcats won for only the second time in program history against Babylon. Their only other win came in 2005. Overall, the Wildcats are now 2-15 against Babylon.

Seconds after Shoreham sophomore Ethan Wiederkehr sacked Babylon quarterback Ron Woodhull on fourth down to seal the victory, players grabbed the water cooler to douse coach Matt Millheiser. Only one kneel down remained for the win.

“I could hear the ice and all of a sudden, I was like whoa!” Millheiser said. “It’s all good. It’s worth it.”

Shoreham junior Chris Rosati scored on an 8-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter and the score remained stuck at 6-0 for most of the game.

Neither team’s offense could generate drives.

The Wildcats gained a little breathing room with 5:35 left in the fourth when Daniel Mahoney kicked a 26-yard field to make it a two-possession game at 9-0.

But the Panthers came surging back with a five-play, 69-yard drive capped by a 34-yard touchdown pass from Woodhull to Stephen Schweitzer. The drive took only 56 seconds.

The Wildcats began their next drive with their worst field position of the game after a holding penalty on the kickoff negated a huge return by Isreal Squires. Backed up at their own 6-yard line, the Wildcats managed to pick up two first downs before eventually punting with under a minute to go. Babylon got the ball back on its own 38 and turned it over on four plays.

Rosati rushed for 103 yards on 19 carries. Hughes rushed for 60 on 13 carries. He also completed 7 of 17 passes for 71 yards.

The Wildcats improve to 2-0 heading into next week’s game against Hampton Bays. The Panthers are now 1-1.

Last year the Wildcats defeated Mount Sinai for the first time in program history.

joew@timesreview.com

09/13/14 11:30am
Shoreham-Wading River senior Isreal Squires during a practice leading up to yesterday's season opener. (Credit: Garret Meade)

Shoreham-Wading River senior Isreal Squires during a practice leading up to yesterday’s season opener. (Credit: Garret Meade)

WILDCATS 35, RED DEVILS 7

No matter how well a team may look in the preseason, a coach still gets that uneasy feeling before the first game of the season. How will a new team perform once the game’s count for real?  (more…)

09/12/14 10:34pm
McGann-Mercy running back Reggie Archer tries to find a hole against the Bayport defense. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder)

McGann-Mercy running back Reggie Archer tries to find a hole against the Bayport defense. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder)

PHANTOMS 33, MONARCHS 6

From the moment Bishop McGann-Mercy received the No. 6 seed in Division IV, a peculiar position for a team whose only victory a year ago came via forfeit, this much was evident: the schedule would again be unforgiving. (more…)

09/11/14 4:00pm
Nick Tropeano, who pitched for the Riverhead Tomcats in 2009, won his first MLB game Wednesday. (Credit: Garret Meade, file)

Nick Tropeano, who pitched for the Riverhead Tomcats in 2009, won his first MLB game Wednesday. (Credit: Garret Meade, file)

Nick Tropeano, who in 2009 dominated in the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League as a member of the Riverhead Tomcats, made his Major League Baseball debut Wednesday night with the Houston Astros.  (more…)