They just couldn’t seize the moment.
Time after time, the Riverhead Blue Waves football team had good field position on Sunday against the Newfield Wolverines. Three times in the second half, with the Blue Waves trailing by 12-0 in the Suffolk County Division II game at Nick DeCillis Field in Selden, they were near midfield and had a chance to climb back into the game. But each time, they failed to cash in on these golden opportunities.
Newfield blanked Riverhead, 12-0.
The game was originally scheduled to be played last Thursday, but was postponed by thunderstorms.
The Wolverines (2-0) scored on their opening drive, as Mike Silva crossed the goal line on a one-yard quarterback sneak. Shervon Barthelmy’s 76-yard run set up the touchdown.
A Riverhead penalty then set up Silva’s second touchdown run with 2 minutes 6 seconds left in the quarter, this time on a 19-yard scamper.
Early in the third quarter, Riverhead (0-2) began a 14-play, 59-yard drive at its own 40-yard line and drove deep into Newfield territory. But the Wolverines’ defense twice stopped Charles Bartlett from the 1-yard line. Riverhead started its next drive at the Newfield 34 and was thwarted when Ryan Bitzer, the Blue Waves’ quarterback, had a pass intercepted. Riverhead then had the ball one last time deep in Newfield territory, this time at the 32, only to lose possession on downs.
The rugged Newfield defense bent, but did not break. Ron Dening (16 tackles) and Tom Diubaldo (15 tackles and a sack) spearheaded the Wolverines’ defense, while Silva had six tackles. Newfield intercepted four passes.
While the Blue Waves kept Newfield off the scoreboard the rest of the way, Barthelmy continued to rack up big chunks of yardage on the ground. He rushed for 136 yards on 23 carries. Midway through the fourth quarter, the Wolverines and Barthelmy pounded the ball on the ground to eat up the clock and keep the ball out of Riverhead’s hands.
It was a frustrating day for Bitzer and the Riverhead offense.
Riverhead Coach Leif Shay did not return numerous messages prior to the deadline.
Bartlett had 63 yards rushing on 22 carries. Mario Carerra caught three passes for 43 yards, while Rodney Rollins and Jake Messina each had two receptions. But, in the end, the Blue Waves couldn’t come up with the big play when they needed it.