The standings showed Newfield as winless, a team still searching for its first win at the season’s halfway mark.
The Riverhead Blue Waves knew they weren’t getting a typical 0-4 team Saturday at Coach Mike McKillop Memorial Field. At their best, the Wolverines are an upper echelon team in Division II, possibly the third or fourth best team, estimated Riverhead coach Leif Shay.
Injuries have hampered Newfield through the first half, but a few of those players were back in the lineup against Riverhead for a pivotal game that could have gone a long way toward the Blue Waves getting back into the postseason. Instead, the Wolverines (1-5) saved their season with a 33-12 victory, a game that was closer than the final score indicated.
Riverhead (2-3) fell behind 20-0 at halftime, but stormed back with touchdowns on consecutive possessions in the third quarter into the fourth. The Blue Waves had shriveled the deficit down to eight and needed one defensive stop to regain possession with a chance to tie the game.
The Wolverines, through, manufactured a 14-play, 65-yard drive that ate up 6 minutes and 23 seconds. They converted a fourth-and-two early in the drive, which they capped with a 3-yard touchdown run by Thomas Terrell. On the third play of the drive, a third-and-four, Newfield quarterback Martin Max connected with Cabral Anthony for a 19-yard play that moved the Wolverines into Riverhead territory.
Riverhead sophomore Albert Daniels rushed for 106 yards on 18 carries to lead the offensive attack. Junior Derrick Parker scored the team’s first touchdown on a three-yard run in the third quarter and quarterback Christian Pace ran in the second score from three yards out with 10:11 left in the fourth. The Blue Waves failed to convert after both touchdowns — a missed extra point and then a failed two-point conversion.
The Wolverines hurt the Blue Waves through the air early, as Martin connected on six of his first seven passes. Martin actually ended up catching a touchdown pass as well in the second quarter on a flashy play. Martin handed off to running back Chad Blaszky, who tossed the ball back to Colin Cassara, who’s listed as a quarterback and wide receiver. Martin took off down field and Cassara pulled up to pass and hit him on a 21-yard touchdown that made the score 20-0.
Blaszky led the rushing attack for Newfield with 93 yards on 18 carries. He scored the team’s final touchdown with 1:25 left. Martin rushed for two touchdowns of his own.
Riverhead returns home next weekend on homecoming to play Copiague, which came into Week 5 winless and in last place in Division II.
Top photo caption: Riverhead senior wide receiver Darnell Chandler hauls in a 21-yard pass that set up the Blue Waves’ second touchdown two plays later. (Credit: Joe Werkmeister)