Given the opportunity, Dominic Visintin took the ball and ran with it. Again. And again. And again.
Visintin enjoyed a coming-out party of sorts Friday night as the Shoreham-Wading River High School football team began the Aden Smith era in dominant fashion, much the same the way the era of his coaching predecessor, Matt Millheiser, had been.
Looking sharp and focused from the start, Shoreham ran through Southampton/Bridgehampton/Pierson, 35-0, in the Suffolk County Division IV season opener at Richard M. Smith Field in Southampton. In the process, Shoreham showed that it has someone not named Xavier Arline who can run the ball and give an opposing defense fits.
Visintin, a senior making his first start at running back, ran for two touchdowns, caught a TD pass from Arline and made an interception from his safety position on defense. He had 78 yards from 11 carries. All of that came in the first half.
Not to be outdone, Arline ran for 111 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries before being taken out of the game after one offensive series in the third quarter.
Meanwhile, Shoreham’s defense was stingy, limiting Southampton to a single rushing yard. The Wildcats made four interceptions, including two by Johnny Schwarz and one by Anthony Cimino. Shoreham also had fumble recoveries by Mike Casazza, Joe Puckey and D.J. Brown.
Second-seeded Shoreham opened the game with an almost flawless first quarter that must have left No. 8 Southampton in shock and awe.
The Wildcats scored TDs on their first three possessions for a 21-0 first-quarter lead. Visintin charged through the right side for a 6-yard scoring run for the first one. The next TD, set up by a Schwarz interception and 25-yard return, came on a 7-yard quarterback keeper by Arline. A Southampton fumble off the ensuing kickoff led to Arline’s swing pass to Visintin for a 9-yard score.
It was a particularly rough first quarter for Southampton. Even a positive play by the Mariners — Niaka Williams stripping the ball from Shoreham’s Tyler Schwarz after he made a reception — was negated. On the next play, Shoreham got the ball back when Puckey fell on a fumble.
Visintin’s interception gave Shoreham the ball at the Southampton 15-yard line. Three plays later Visintin ran the ball in from 8 yards out.
On the third play from scrimmage in the third quarter, Arline turned in a highlight reel of a 31-yard run, darting around the right side before cutting into the middle for the end zone. Jake Ekert’s extra point made it 35-0.
Shoreham compiled 328 yards in offense to Southampton’s 49.
Photo caption: Dominic Visintin ran for two touchdowns, caught a pass for another and made an interception for Shoreham-Wading River in its 35-0 season-opening win over Southampton/Bridgehampton/Pierson. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)