By Anthony Hidalgo
The Half Hollow Hills High School West varsity football team took down Newfield, 35-27, in the Suffolk Division II quarterfinals on Saturday.
Hills West (6-2), which defeated Newfield (4-4) earlier in the season, came out on top once again behind sophomore Deyvon Wright, who rushed for 165 yards and a pair of touchdowns; and senior Alexander Filacouris, who scored three times for the Colts.
The game started off with Hills West scoring on its first two possessions of the first quarter.
Filacouris rushed for both of the scores, first on a 2-yard touchdown run, and then on a 22-yard run.
The Colts, which were seeded third in the opening round of the Division II playoffs, added another score when Wright rushed for a 4-yard touchdown in second quarter to take a 21-0 lead.
Newfield, however, responded with three touchdowns of its own in the second quarter, cutting the deficit to 21-20 at halftime.
The Colts looked strong coming out of halftime and Wright added his second touchdown of the day on a 56-yard run by Wright.
Newfield again responded with a touchdown of its own, keeping the game close.
Filacouris extended Hills West’s lead with his third touchdown of the afternoon, extending Hills West’s lead to 35-27.
The fourth quarter was scoreless for both teams. Hills West was able to stop the Wolverines twice with two crucial interceptions, one by senior Cameron Jordan and one by senior Tunde Alakatu. The second interception sealed the game for the Colts in the finals seconds of regulation.
After the victory, Hills West head coach Kyle Madden attributed the second-half success to simplicity.
“At halftime I just said, ‘Let’s make the game really, really small,’ ” Madden said.
He continued, “Make it simple, let’s block, let’s tackle, and let’s run.”
The strategy worked, Madden said, with the Colts offensive line stepping up to allow “Deyvon [Wright] and Alex [Filacouris] to just to run the ball on very simple plays.
“I’m very proud of them.”
Hills West now readies for the divisional semifinals. They’re set to take on North Babylon, which defeated the Colts earlier in the season. The semifinals matchup is set for Nov. 12, 1 p.m., at North Babylon High School.
The winner of the game will advance to the Suffolk Division II final to face the winner of top-seeded West Islip and fourth-seeded Bellport. The final is set to be played at Stony Brook University on Nov. 19, 12 noon.