By Connor Beach
The Walt Whitman High School football team is off to an undefeated start this season. The Wildcats sit atop Suffolk’s Division 1 standings after a high scoring 49-46 victory at home against Brentwood on Sept. 7 and last Friday’s 35-24 home win against Sachem North.
After a 2-6 record last season, last weeks victory over the Flaming Arrows of Sachem North, who beat the Wildcats last year, could be the beginning of a comeback season for Whitman.
But a Wildcat victory didn’t always seem likely when Sachem North came to town. The Flaming Arrows dominated the first half with two huge plays. A 63-yard rushing touchdown and a 76-yard touchdown pass put Sachem North ahead 14-0 after the first quarter.
The Wildcats’ defense settled down in the second quarter and their offense began to move the ball. The Whitman offense, led by senior quarterback Quinn O’Hara, scored 21 unanswered points in the second quarter.
Three of O’Hara’s four touchdown passes came in the second quarter, two of which were caught by senior wide receiver DaShawn Thompson. Thompson finished with four catches for 59 yards in the game.
The two teams went into the locker room at halftime with the game tied at 21, but momentum was firmly with the Wildcats.
Whitman’s defense dominated the second half, holding the Flaming Arrows to just a field goal. Grant Christensen, Jarrett Dalimonte, Tim Hunter each had an interception for the Wildcats, and junior linebacker Alex DiLorenzo recovered a fumble. Eric Bell and senior linebacker Christian Viteri each recorded eight tackles in the game.
The fourth quarter was all Wildcats. O’Hara showed his skills on the ground as well as in the air with a one yard touchdown run. He ran the ball 11 times in the game for 40 yards.
Whitman capped off the game with a late touchdown pass from O’Hara to wide receiver Kendall Wilkerson. The touchdown catch was Wilkerson’s second in the game, and one of seven total receptions for 77 yards.
The Wildcats hope to keep their undefeated streak alive when they travel to Bay Shore on Saturday where they are scheduled to take on the 0-2 Marauders at 1 p.m.