11/15/14 6:38pm
11/15/2014 6:38 PM
Shoreham-Wading River quarterback Danny Hughes carries the ball in Saturday's win over Babylon. (Credit: Bill Landon)

Shoreham-Wading River quarterback Danny Hughes carries the ball in Saturday’s win over Babylon. (Credit: Bill Landon)

DIVISION IV SEMIFINALS  |  WILDCATS 56, PANTHERS 0

Shoreham Wading River has emerged as a force to be reckoned with thanks to a crushing defense and ground and pound offensive attack.

The Wildcats made short work of two-time defending Class IV Long Island champion Babylon Saturday with a 56-0 shellacking to advance to their first county title game in program history.  (more…)

11/08/14 8:04pm
11/08/2014 8:04 PM
Shoreham-Wading River senior Nick Gray carries the ball against Port Jefferson Saturday. (Credit: Bill Landon)

Shoreham-Wading River senior Nick Gray carries the ball against Port Jefferson Saturday. (Credit: Bill Landon)

Shoreham Wading River did what its done since Week 5 of the season Saturday: blowing out another opponent, this time Port Jefferson, 42-0, in the Division IV quarterfinals.

Shoreham quarterback Danny Hughes scored on a keeper up the middle for the first of his two touchdowns as Shoreham Wading River jumped out to a 14-0 lead.  (more…)

10/31/14 6:40pm
10/31/2014 6:40 PM
Shoreham-Wading River seniors Christian Clarkin (10) and Daniel Hughes celebrate during their victory over Port Jefferson. (Credit: Daniel De Mato)

Shoreham-Wading River seniors Christian Clarkin (10) and Daniel Hughes celebrate during their victory over Port Jefferson. (Credit: Daniel De Mato)

WILDCATS 35, ROYALS 0

For those keeping score at home, the number of ice baths Shoreham-Wading River football coach Matt Millheiser has been doused with after a game this season stands at two.

The first came after a road win in Babylon, only the second in program history for the Wildcats against the Panthers. The second came Friday afternoon, after the Wildcats rolled past Port Jefferson, 35-0, to put the finishing touches on the program’s first 8-0 season.  (more…)

10/11/14 5:29pm
10/11/2014 5:29 PM
Shoreham-Wading River players bowed their heads during a moment of silence in memory of their late teammate Tom Cutinella. (Credit: Robert O'Rourk)

Shoreham-Wading River players bowed their heads during a moment of silence in memory of their late teammate Tom Cutinella. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)

WILDCATS 54, WARRIORS 0

Tom Cutinella wasn’t present, but his presence was felt, and his uniform number, 54, was everywhere.

“SWR 54” was painted onto a hillside by the Shoreham-Wading River High School football field in yellow characters outlined in blue. A replica of Cutinella’s No. 54 jersey hung from the front of the press box. Near the top of the press box dangled a banner that read, “#54 FOREVER IN OUR HEARTS.” The players and coach Matt Millheiser wore towels with “54” imprinted on them.

And had the scoreboard been functioning, it would have read 54-0 — poetic enough — by the time the Suffolk County Division IV game ended. (more…)

09/19/14 9:52pm
09/19/2014 9:52 PM
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
09/13/2014 11:30 AM
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…)

09/11/14 8:00am
09/11/2014 8:00 AM
Ethan Greenidge, a 6-foot-5, 320-pound lineman, is one of Riverhead's three all-division players. (Credit: Garret Meade)

Ethan Greenidge, a 6-foot-5, 320-pound lineman, is one of Riverhead’s three all-division players. (Credit: Garret Meade)

PREVIEW

So, what will be vital for the Riverhead High School football team as it makes a bid this year for a third straight Suffolk County Division II championship? Will it be the play of its quarterback, Kenny Simco? The blocking of the offensive line? The running prowess of Ryun Moore? The tenacity of its defense?

While all of the above will undoubtedly be important, those are not the answers coach Leif Shay gave when asked that question. As Shay sees it, it comes down to something far more elemental: team chemistry and player personalities.

Shay said how well his players get along with each other and respect each other — the subject of his speech to them on the first day of preseason practice — will go a long way toward determining whether the Blue Waves go a long way. (more…)

08/27/14 2:00pm
08/27/2014 2:00 PM
Bobby Puckey's off-season training and leadership led to his being named a team captain. (Credit: Garret Meade)

Bobby Puckey’s off-season training and leadership led to his being named a team captain. (Credit: Garret Meade)

One day last week, the Shoreham-Wading River High School football coach, Matt Millheiser, took the unusual step of naming one of his team captains much earlier than usual. The honor bestowed upon senior lineman Bobby Puckey was less a reflection of how he played last season so much as his reaction to how he played.

The 2013 season wasn’t one that Puckey remembers fondly, and for good reason. (more…)