11/09/13 4:30pm
11/09/2013 4:30 PM

BILL LANDON PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River senior Tyler Anderson scored five touchdowns in Saturday’s playoff win over Center Moriches.

SUFFOLK DIVISION IV QUALIFYING ROUND | WILDCATS 56, RED DEVILS 29

More than anything, it was a testament to the offensive firepower of Shoreham-Wading River’s football team and Tyler Anderson’s running ability.

To put things in perspective, Center Moriches is not a bad offensive team itself, with several weapons to draw upon. So, perhaps a shootout was inevitable in the Suffolk County Division IV qualifying round game on Saturday in Shoreham. The statistics put up were video game-esque. Just look at them: A total of 85 points were scored. Over 1,100 yards of offense were registered. The Wildcats picked up 504 of those yards on the ground alone. Their star running back, Tyler Anderson, ran for 401 yards himself and scored five touchdowns.

Incredible numbers.

Of course, the numbers that counted most favored the Wildcats, who on their record day picked up their second career playoff win, 56-29. It was the most points the Wildcats have ever scored in the six playoff games they have played in their history. Now the fourth-seeded Wildcats (7-2) want to set another team record — for the most playoff wins in a year. To do that, they will have to upset No. 1 Babylon (9-0), the defending Long Island champion, when the teams play in a county semifinal Friday night. No easy task. Babylon defeated the Wildcats, 36-14, on Sept. 20.

But Saturday was Shoreham’s day.

No one had a bigger game — and more gaudier numbers — than Anderson. The senior was handed the ball 27 times, ran for four touchdowns (including as 78-yarder to help cap the scoring) and caught a 19-yard pass for another touchdown. He also had scoring runs of 36, 32 and 18 yards. In addition, he had 51 receiving yards from two catches.

Three of the five completions by Shoreham’s quarterback, Danny Hughes, went for touchdowns, two by Isreal Squires (two catches, 84 yards). Hughes also ran for a touchdown and had 92 yards on nine carries.

Following Anderson’s first touchdown of the day, a surprise onside kick by Shoreham’s Zack MacAuley was recovered by teammate Daniel Smith. Two plays later, Hughes hooked up on a 48-yard connection for Squires’ second touchdown. MacAuley’s extra point — one of a school-record eight for him in the game — with 5 minutes 32 seconds left in the first quarter, made the score 21-8.

The Wildcats were off and running. They generated 658 yards worth of offense.

Center Moriches (6-3), which came off a 1-7 season, picked up most of its 446 yards through the air. Tyrell Thomas threw for 288 yards and two touchdowns from 14-of-22 passing. Tarik Rountree (nine catches, 126 yards) caught two of those touchdown passes and John-Cody Cerverizzo (three catches, 136 yards) pulled in the other.

Herbert Plummer (seven carries, 88 yards) took a lateral and darted around the left side 53 yards for Center Moriches’ first touchdown. A Thomas pass to Cerverizzo for the 2-point conversion gave the Red Devils a brief 8-7 lead. It lasted 65 seconds before an Anderson touchdown dash put the Wildcats ahead to stay. The Wildcats produced touchdowns on their first three possessions.

Center Moriches, which has reached the playoffs four times in six years, has yet to experience a playoff win. Their cause wasn’t helped by five turnovers. Shoreham, which has won five of its last six games, did not turn the ball over once.

Chris Rosati recovered two fumbles for the Wildcats and Brennan Gorman came up with another one. Rosati also intercepted a pass, as did Squires. Aaron Harley-Rey led the team with 8 tackles, 5 of them solo.

Thomas made 9 tackles and defended three passes for Center Moriches.

bliepa@timesreview.com

11/09/13 4:04pm

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Ryan Hubbard (2) celebrates with Jeremiah Cheatom after returning a punt for a touchdown in the first quarter Saturday against Hills West.

BLUE WAVES 44, COLTS 21

As Ryun Moore surged across midfield, bring the Blue Waves one final first down, Riverhead coach Leif Shay yelled out the next play: “Aces! Victory!”

All the remained was a kneel down, as the Blue Waves put the finishing touches on a 44-21 victory over Half Hollow Hills West in the first round of the Division II playoffs Saturday afternoon at Coach Mike McKillop Memorial Field.

The top-seeded Blue Waves excelled in all facets of the game, from offense to defense and special teams.

Backup quarterback Ken Simco, filling in for the second straight week for injured senior Cody Smith, scored two rushing touchdowns (both QB sneaks) and threw for another on a play-action pass to Mike Van Bommel. Senior Ryan Hubbard returned a punt for a touchdown on special teams. And the defense intercepted two passes (Andrew Kinard and Ethan Greenidge) and forced a safety.

Running back Jeremiah Cheatom powered the offense on the ground with 171 yards on 39 carries. Moore had a big day as well, adding 85 yards on 14 carries with a touchdown.

Riverhead advances to the semifinals next Saturday where the Blue Waves will host No. 5 Newfield, the winner over No. 4 East Islip. Teams are reseeded after the first round. No. 2 Smithtown West won Friday night and No. 3 East Islip defeated Smithtown East, so the teams remain in the same bracket.

The Blue Waves haven’t trailed very often this season, but they were staring at a 14-7 deficit after Hills West quarterback Anthony Lucarelli connected with a wide open Jake Klose on a 54-yard touchdown pass in the final minute of the first quarter.

But the Blue Waves rallied to score the next 28 points and blow the game open. The Blue Waves took the lead into halftime at 21-14 when Cheatom scored from three yards out with under a minute to play in the second quarter.

Riverhead then opened the third quarter with an 11-play, 58-yard drive that Simco capped with a 1-yard touchdown run. The score remained the same until the fourth quarter when Simco completed a 3-yard touchdown pass to Van Bommel to make it 35-14.

Simco completed 10 of 14 passes. Jaron Greenidge, who missed last week’s game, had 4 receptions.

joew@timesreview.com

11/09/13 10:00am
ROBERT O'ROURK PHOTO  |  Riverhead senior Jeremiah Cheatom powered the Blue Waves' offense on the ground Saturday against Newfield.

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Riverhead senior Jeremiah Cheatom leads the Blue Waves against Half Hollow Hills West today

No team in Division II has won back-to-back county championships since Bellport in 2005 and ’06. This afternoon, the Riverhead Blue Waves will take the first step toward becoming the first team to accomplish that feat since the Clippers.

The Blue Waves enter the playoffs today as the No. 1 seed in a deep division that features eight quality teams in the postseason. Look no further than today’s opponent, eighth-seeded Half Hollow Hills West. The Colts finished 5-3, have won their previous four games and have averaged 36.5 points per game over that span. The Colts ended the season with a 28-21 victory over West Islip, the No. 4 seed in the playoffs and a possible second-round matchup for Riverhead.

Today’s game kicks off at 1 p.m. at Coach Mike McKillop Memorial Field.

The Blue Waves will once again turn to junior Ken Simco at quarterback. Senior Cody Smith will miss another game with an eye injury, coach Leif Shay said. Other than that, the Blue Waves should be back to full strength. Jaron Greenidge is expected to play today and Shay said there are no off the field issues preventing any players from starting today.

Follow the News-Review on Twitter for updates throughout the game.

Meanwhile in Division IV, the Shoreham-Wading River Wildcats will open the playoffs today at home against No. 5 Center Moriches. The Wildcats closed out the regular season 6-2 and will host a playoff game for the second straight year.

The Wildcats did not face Center Moriches in the regular season.

The top two seeds in Division IV both won Friday night. Undefeated Babylon rolled over East Hampton, 53-8, and No. 2 Mount Sinai hung on for a 20-14 victory over Greenport.

A win today would send the Wildcats to Babylon for the second round, unless No. 6 Bayport-Blue Point can defeated No. 3 John Glenn. That would send the Wildcats to Mount Sinai to face a team they already beat this year.

Check back tonight for full coverage of both games.

joew@timesreview.com

11/03/13 11:00am
11/03/2013 11:00 AM

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Riverhead senior Jeremiah Cheatom powered the Blue Waves’ offense on the ground Saturday against Newfield.

The Riverhead football team put the finishing touches on a 7-1 regular season Saturday with a 21-8 win over Newfield in Division II. The Blue Waves will enter the playoffs next week as the No. 1 seed and will face Half Hollow Hills West.

Recap: Blue Waves beat Newfield, even with a short-handed squad.

Check out photos from Saturday’s big win:

11/02/13 6:12pm
11/02/2013 6:12 PM

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River senior Tyler Anderson scored three touchdowns Saturday against Port Jefferson.

WILDCATS 33, ROYALS 7

It took a few days for the sting of last week’s loss to John Glenn to begin to fade for Shoreham-Wading River. The Wildcats realized all they could do was prepare for the next game today against Port Jefferson and close out the season with a win.

“We tried to treat this week as a playoff week,” said Shoreham coach Matt Millheiser. “I think the kids responded to that.”

Shoreham rolled to a 33-7 road win over the Royals Saturday to finish the regular season at 6-2 in Division IV. But as the final power points were tallied, the sting of that earlier loss reappeared.

The Wildcats, who were in prime position to earn the No. 2 seed going into last week, which would have been the highest finish in program history, will instead begin the playoffs as the No. 4. While that does give Shoreham a home playoff game in the first round, it lines them up to most likely face unbeaten and top-seeded Babylon in the semifinals rather than the county championship.

There’s still a chance the Wildcats could avoid Babylon until the county finals; teams are reseeded after the first round. But that would require either No. 2 Mount Sinai or No. 3 John Glenn to lose in the first round in games they would be favored to win.

Shoreham will begin the postseason against No. 5 Center Moriches next Saturday at 1 p.m. The teams did not meet in the regular season. Mount Sinai, Glenn, Shoreham and Center Moriches all finished with identical records.

The Wildcats got a typically dominant performance against Port Jefferson from running back Tyler Anderson. He carried the ball 12 times and tallied 151 yards. He scored three touchdowns, including a 90-yard punt return early in the second quarter, which was the first special teams touchdown for Shoreham this season.

“He had a really, really good day,” Millheiser said.

Anderson didn’t normally return punts earlier in the year. But sophomore Chris Rosati has been limited with a sore hamstring, so to limit his playing time, the Wildacts threw their two-way starter onto special teams.

“As of right now we’re going to leave him back there,” Millheiser said.

Shoreham quarterback Daniel Hughes was 3 of 5 passing, including a 80-yard touchdown play to tight end Mitch Idtensohn.

Hughes, Isreal Squires and Aaron Harley-Rey all had interceptions for the Wildcats. Squires had a big day on defense with 10 tackles.

“The defense played well,” Millheiser said.

Shoreham led 33-0 in the fourth quarter before the Royals broke through for their lone score. Port Jefferson finishes the season 3-5 and out of the playoffs.

joew@timesreview.com

11/02/13 4:36pm

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Riverhead wide receiver Ryan Hubbard finished Saturday’s game with one touchdown reception.

BLUE WAVES 21, WOLVERINES 8

In a span of 12 hours, the Riverhead Blue Waves lost two captains to injuries before the start of Saturday’s regular season finale against Newfield.

Quarterback Cody Smith suffered an eye injury late Friday in an incident coach Leif Shay described as “kids being kids.” Then during warmups, two-way starter Jaron Greenidge suffered a concussion. The Blue Waves also started the game without running back Jeremiah Cheatom, who arrived late after taking the SAT in the morning.

Still, the depth of the Blue Waves came through as Riverhead rallied to win 21-8 on the road to finish the regular season 7-1, locking up the No. 1 seed in the Division II playoffs.

Junior Ken Simco made his first varsity start and threw one touchdown in the win, a 20-yard pass in the third quarter to wide receiver Ryan Hubbard.

When Cheatom entered the game on the Blue Waves’ third possession, the game quickly turned. Cheatom carried 24 times for 110 yards with two touchdowns.

He scored from 11 yards out with 9:34 left in the second quarter to put the Blue Waves ahead 7-0. He added another score with 24 seconds left in the half on a 4-yard run.

The Blue Waves seemed well on their way to a 13-0 halftime lead. But Newfield struck for two quick pass plays to score a touchdown just before the half ended to make it 13-8.

Riverhead opened the second half on defense and Andrew Kinard intercepted a pass to give the Blue Waves possession at the Newfield 42. Five plays later, Simco connected with Hubbard for the touchdown that stood as the game’s final score.

The Blue Waves will open the playoffs at 1 p.m. next Saturday at home against No. 8 Half Hollow Hills West. Newfield finishes the regular season 5-3 and will open the playoffs as the No. 5 seed facing No. 4 West Islip.

CorrectionAn earlier version stated Cheatom missed the beginning of the game due to disciplinary reasons. While the Blue Waves did have players out at the beginning for that reason, he was not one of them.

joew@timesreview.com

11/01/13 1:00pm
11/01/2013 1:00 PM

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | McGann-Mercy running back Reggie Archer carries the ball against Babylon Oct. 25, which turned out to be the final game of the season for the Monarchs.

The McGann-Mercy football team’s final game of the regular season tonight at Southampton was abruptly canceled this morning, according to Mercy athletic director John Lonardo and head coach Jeff Doroski.

It was Southampton’s decision to forfeit the game, which will go down as Mercy’s first win of the season.

Lonardo said he received a call last night from Southampton’s athletic director about the possibility of a forfeit. This morning, Mr. Lonardo said he received a call confirming that the game will not be played.

“As far as I know there are no plans to play game at a future date,” he said.

Southampton High School Principal Brian Zahn told The Southampton Press that “there was an incident reported to us that we are investigating and following up on. Because of the nature of our investigation we felt it best that we just forfeit that game.”

The news came as a shock to the Monarchs, who prepared all week to face the 1-6 Mariners and were excited over the prospects of ending the season with a win.

“I feel bad for all the kids involved,” Doroski said. “The seniors miss out on an opportunity to play their last high school football game.”

Word began to spread among the players this morning via text messages and phone calls, Doroski said. The team plans to meet at 3 p.m. today for a final meeting and to collect equipment. Doroski said they might take the players out for a night of bowling and pizza.

“It’s an unfortunate situation,” he said. “I don’t know exactly what’s going on over there.”

After a thrilling run to the Division IV semifinals last year in the playoffs, the Monarchs couldn’t catch a break this year as a difficult schedule and injuries paved the way to an 0-7 start. As practice began this week, Doroski told the players that nothing else matters from this point as they prepared to try to win their final game.

“For the seniors that would be something they remember,” Doroski said.

Instead, they’ll be packing their bags.

joew@timesreview.com

10/26/13 8:14pm
10/26/2013 8:14 PM
ROBERT O'ROURK PHOTO | Riverhead's Rahemm Brown, left, and Ryan Harkin wrap up West Islip's Max McNichols for a loss.

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Riverhead’s Raheem Brown, left, and Ryan Harkin wrap up West Islip’s Max McNichols for a loss.

BLUE WAVES 33, LIONS 21

Senior running back Jeremiah Cheatom ran for 230 yards and three touchdowns to spark Riverhead to a 33-21 victory over West Islip in a Suffolk County Division II football game at Coach Mike McKillop Memorial Field on Saturday afternoon.

The win solidified the Blue Waves’ prospects of hosting at least one game in the upcoming playoffs, which are to begin on the weekend of Nov. 9.

The first half was a see-saw battle.

Riverhead (6-1) grabbed a 7-0 lead on Darren Jefferson’s 30-yard touchdown reception and Dylan Pace’s’ point after with 3 minutes 33 seconds remaining in the first quarter, but West Islip (5-2) tied it on quarterback Sam Iliaro’s one-yard run and Liam O’Donnell’s ensuing PAT 29 seconds into the second period.

The Blue Waves retook the lead on Cheatom’s 48-yard scoring run on the next possession with 9:47 remaining in the half, but could only extend the margin to 13-7 as Pace failed to convert the extra point.

Iliaro’s 20-yard TD run and O’Donnell’s point after boosted the visitors into a 14-13 halftime lead.

Senior quarterback Cody Smith’s three-yard run and sophomore running back Ryun Moore’s successful two-point run lifted the Blue Waves into a 21-14 advantage they would not relinquish with 5:15 left in the third quarter.

Cheatom, who carried the ball 36 times, including on 23 occasions in the second half, sandwiched a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown runs around a West Islip score. He ran in from 12 yards with 10:15 remaining and from five yards with 4:09 left.

Iliaro had a one-yard run for West Islip with 7:03 to go in the game. The Blue Waves finish their regular season next week at Newfield, 22-8 winners over Central Islip on Saturday.