02/27/15 8:33pm
02/27/2015 8:33 PM
Riverhead senior Ed Matyka wrestles Peter Pappas of Plainview in the first round Friday of the state championship. (Credit: Paul Wager)

Riverhead senior Ed Matyka wrestles Peter Pappas of Plainview in the first round Friday of the state championship. (Credit: Paul Wager)

There will be no state champion for Shoreham-Wading River this season. But the Wildcats still have a chance for a memorable finish.

All three Shoreham wrestlers advanced to the second day of the New York State Wrestling Championships Friday at Times Union Center in Albany. Riverhead senior Ed Matyka won a pair of matches as well to advance. (more…)

10/18/14 6:45pm
10/18/2014 6:45 PM
Riverhead senior Ethan Greenidge returns an interception 45 yards for a touchdown Saturday against East Islip. (Credit: Robert O'Rourk)

Riverhead senior Ethan Greenidge returns an interception 41 yards for a touchdown Saturday against East Islip. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)

Despite two scores in a 58-second span in the fourth quarter, Riverhead could not overcome a 21-point deficit and dropped a 21-14 Division II decision to East Islip Saturday afternoon to spoil its homecoming.  (more…)

10/01/14 9:00pm
10/01/2014 9:00 PM
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)


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.”

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09/28/13 5:01pm
09/28/2013 5:01 PM

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Riverhead senior Mike Van Bommel caught five passes in Saturday’s win over Central Islip.


The beauty of the Riverhead offense is its diversity. Some games, the Blue Waves may pound the ball on the ground with halfbacks Jeremiah Cheatom and Ryun Moore. Other games, they can put the ball in the arm of quarterback Cody Smith.

Against Central Islip Saturday afternoon, it was Smith’s turn to shine.

Behind an assortment of screens and quick passes into the flats, Smith ignited a torrid offensive game for the Blue Waves in a rout of Central Islip, 48-8, at Coach Mike McKillop Memorial Field Saturday.

Smith completed his first 8 passes of the game and by the end of the first half had tallied 205 passing yards. He finished the first half 13 of 15 with two touchdown passes. Junior Ken Simco took over the QB duties in the second half.

Riverhead (2-1 Division II) scored touchdowns on all but one possession in the first half, taking a 34-0 lead into the locker room.

After giving up 50 points last week to East Islip, the Riverhead defense bounced back with a superb effort. The Blue Waves bottled up Central Islip quarterback LJ Harriott , who was a duel threat on the ground and through the air.

Cheatom scored a touchdown on a 7-yard run early in the second quarter and finished with 42 yards on 7 carries. He did not play in the second half as he iced his shoulder. The injury did not appear serious.

Smith completed passes to five different receivers in the first half alone. Tight end Mike Van Bommel caught five passes and hauled in a touchdown reception in the first quarter that made it 21-0 Riverhead.

Wide receiver Dan Czelatka caught three passes, including a 37-yard touchdown on a screen pass that made it 14-0. Czelatka also intercepted a pass and returned it 40 yards for a touchdown in the second half.

The Blue Waves appeared to have found an answer to their kicking game as well. Junior Dylan Pace attempted the extra point kicks for Riverhead and after missing his first, he bounced back to convert four of the next five. Moore scored on a two-point conversion run on the Blue Waves’ second touchdown.

The only Central Islip touchdown came late in the fourth quarter after the Blue Waves fumbled the ball deep in their own territory. Harriott scored on a 7-yard run.

The Blue Waves return to action next Saturday at Bay Shore.

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12/01/12 11:40am
12/01/2012 11:40 AM

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Riverhead halfback Jeremiah Cheatom and quarterback Ryan Bitzer (10) celebrate during the first half of Saturday’s Long Island championship game.

One half, 24 minutes, stood in Riverhead’s way of a Class II Long Island championship. The Blue Waves led 16-7 against Garden City on the back of an epic rushing performance from junior Jeremiah Cheatom, who tallied 201 yards in the opening half at Stony Brook University’s LaValle Stadium.

So often the Long Island championship game has been a nightmare setting for the Trojans, who were 4-9 all-time heading into Saturday.

But on this overcast, chilly afternoon, the Trojans flipped the script in the second half to run off three unanswered touchdowns and win 29-16 in front of a stunned crowd that featured far more blue than maroon.

Riverhead took a 16-7 lead into halftime after a career-long 36-yard field goal by Devrim Kucuk with 1:16 left.

But the Trojans defense bottled up Riverhead’s running game in the second half, loading the box with defenders and daring the Blue Waves to throw on a windy afternoon. The Blue Waves’ passing game — so efficient all season — couldn’t get anything going and the offense completely stalled in the second half.

The 29 points allowed was a season-high for Riverhead. The Blue Waves’ 16 points was their lowest in a game since Oct. 6, which was also their last loss. It was the first time Riverhead was shut out in the second half this season.

Garden City scored on a 24-yard touchdown pass play with 9:02 left in the third quarter when quarterback Brett Stewart hit 6-foot-5 Ed Blatz (7 receptions, 141 yards, 2 touchdowns). The Blue Waves went three-and-out on their first three possessions of the second half and the Trojans finally took the lead when Stewart ran in a bootleg 3 yards for a score with :22.3 left in the third.

Stewart finished the game with 27 carries for 135 yards and two rushing TDs. He was 13-of-23 for 198 yards and two touchdowns through the air.

He ran in another 3-yard touchdown midway through the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach as the Trojans went ahead 29-16.

Garden City, which also defeated Riverhead in the 2003 LIC, closed out the season 11-1. Riverhead, playing in its third LIC, finished the season 9-3.

The Blue Waves, after using their aerial attack in the county championship to defeat North Babylon, opened the game relying nearly entirely on the legs of Cheatom. He responded with a superb first half, surpassing 200 yards for the fourth time this season.

But in the second half the Trojans lined up five linemen and kept the linebackers close to the line to make it difficult for the Blue Waves to keep their running attack going.

Cheatom finished the game with 234 yards on 33 carries. He caught two passes for 12 yards.

Riverhead went ahead 6-0 in the final seconds of the first quarter on a six-yard pass from quarterback Ryan Bitzer to Jaron Greenidge. Garden City answered with a 28-yard touchdown from Stewart to Blatz.

Cheatom scored on a 1-yard run to complete a 77-yard drive with 6:44 left in the first half.

The Blue Waves never found the end zone again.

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Riverhead’s Jaron Greenidge scored a touchdown in the first half against Garden City Saturday.