By Andrew Wroblewski
Statistics, trends and history – all three of these things play a big role in the game of football.
Statistically, Half Hollow High School West was averaging 30.6 points per game this season and has had past success in the Suffolk County championship game, winning the title in 2009. On Saturday, though, when Hills West (9-2) took on East Islip (8-3) in the county Division II championship game at Stony Brook University, the Colts were without one of the game’s most crucial aspects: execution.
Four turnovers plagued the Colts as they fell 27-14 to East Islip.
“We just didn’t play our best game today. We left a lot of plays out on the field both offensively and defensively,” Kyle Madden, the Colts’ head coach, said. We didn’t execute when we were supposed to execute.”
On the other side of the field, East Islip was led by quarterback Jack Hannigan. The senior completed 8 of 12 passes for 140 yards and three touchdowns while also adding a rushing touchdown to his name.
For the Colts, Ray Lyte was a bright spot as the senior scored both of the team’s touchdowns – runs from 5 and 51 yards out. The scores gave Hills West a 14-7 lead at halftime, but the game came unraveled from there. Each possession for the Colts in the second half resulted in a punt, fumble, interception or turnover on downs.
Junior quarterback Anthony Lucarelli completed some big passes downfield for the Colts, but constantly had his rhythm disrupted by a tenacious East Islip defensive line. Lucas DiGiorgi suited up for the Colts but was limited as to how much he could contribute as he dealt with a foot injury. Hills West playmaker Alexander Filacouris was mostly kept in check by East Islip’s defense, as the sophomore just couldn’t get much room to make something happen.
Despite the loss, looking back at the season as a whole, Madden praised his seniors.
Paul DeCarlo, an offensive lineman, Madden said, “was one of the great reasons” for the Colts’ success this season as he made the transition into a full-time starter.
Keiffe Carson, Joseph Cipoletti, Cody Clarson, Arminey Ellison, Matthew Fattibene, Jordan Higgins, Justin Hutchinson, Steven Kleet, Jesse Liberatore, Jin Nam Kung, Markhus Obas, Sal Ciampi, Jacob Pincus, Julian Porter, Eric Waugh, Ramin Wahab and Derick Young are the rest of the seniors to whom Madden gave credit.
“This was a bad day, but it wasn’t a bad season,” Madden said. “This was a great season.”
Hoping to build on this year’s performance, Hills West has plenty of young talent returning next fall.