Football: Mercy overwhelmed by Hampton Bays, fall to 2-5

The tone was set early in Saturday’s Suffolk County Division IV football game between the Bishop McGann-Mercy Monarchs and the Hampton Bays Baymen.

The Baymen had just scored on their opening drive, on a 7-yard touchdown pass from Robbie King to Tim Wheeler, before the Monarchs began moving the ball downfield. Mercy, sparked by the running of Pat Stepnoski (130 yards on 20 carries), picked up three first downs. But on first down at the Hampton Bays 30, the Monarchs were called for a holding penalty, making it first-and-25. Again, the Monarchs were flagged for holding, making it first-and-40.

Mercy, clearly, was going the wrong way.

The Monarchs wound up turning the ball back over to the Baymen. Hampton Bays marched down the field and King scored on a 10-yard run. In a flash, it was 14-0 in favor of the Baymen.

Hampton Bays went on to beat Mercy 55-6.

“We were moving the ball, then we had the two holding penalties,” Mercy coach Joe Read said. “We never recovered from that. It hurt us. After that we had to change the game plan a little.”

The Baymen (4-3) thoroughly dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. Hampton Bays, led by King, their quarterback, rushed for 303 total yards. King ran for 74 yards on four carries. He also completed 8 of 8 passes for 101 yards.

“Hampton Bays has a very strong running attack,” Read said. “They ran deceptive schemes and counters that were potent.”

Oskar Ramirez’s 7-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter put Hampton Bays in front 20-0. Andrew Morris plunged in from the 1-yard line early in the second quarter increasing the Baymen’s lead to 28-0.

Mercy (2-5) got on the scoreboard midway through the quarter, when D.J. Wilmott caught a 5-yard swing pass from quarterback Keith Schroeher and bulled his way into the end zone.

But King galloped 56 yards to pay dirt and Ramirez (61 yards on 5 carries) scampered 24 yards for a touchdown to give Hampton Bays a 43-6 lead at the half.

King added a 12-yard TD run and Tracey Kennedy scooted 65 yards into the end zone in the third quarter to cap the Baymen’s scoring.

Igor Leite spearheaded the Hampton Bays defense with 12 tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery.

“We were able to move the ball some,” Read said, “but we just couldn’t punch it in. The penalties, dropped passes and two interceptions hurt us. It threw us back. Hampton Bays is a tough team. They gave a solid, consistent effort. They were the better team today.”