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Nov 12, 2019 2:32 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Season Ends In Opening Round Of Playoffs For Hampton Bays Football

Hampton Bays head coach Rich Doulos speaks to his team during a timeout. DREW BUDD
Nov 12, 2019 2:43 PM


When the Hampton Bays football team finished last season with just 17 players left for the squad’s final game at Elwood/John Glenn, head coach Rich Doulos was unsure where the program was heading. But after doing some recruiting in the offseason, and getting some upperclassmen to return to the sport, the Baymen had some good numbers going into this season, and with it, renewed hope.

The season didn’t get off to a promising start — Hampton Bays lost its first four games of the season and had lost 11 in a row dating back to last season. But it broke that streak with a convincing victory over rival Southampton to bring the Mayor’s Cup back west of the Shinnecock Canal. Then, what were consecutive victories over Wyandanch and Greenport/Mattituck/Southold, wound up being enough for Hampton Bays to break a three-year playoff drought.

The Baymen lost that playoff game, 27-6, at Mount Sinai on Friday night, but Doulos and his players enjoyed what was a competitive game for most of the night, and now head into the offseason encouraged that the program could finally be in an upswing, as long as numbers continue to improve.

“I’ll tell you what, there was no one on this team that doubted that we couldn’t make playoffs,” Doulos said after Friday night’s game. “We preached about it. We came out against Southampton, Wyandanch and Greenport. We did what we had to do. And I know they’re not the top tier teams, but for a team that lost 11 games in a row, we needed that.

“And then to come here, these guys believed,” he added. “We showed them the video, we played them tough the first time we played them, and we definitely believed that we could hang with them four minutes at a time. For a game that could have been 13-0 at halftime, for a one-eight [seed] game, you usually don’t have a good game at one-eight, I’m proud of them.”

Mount Sinai opened the scoring on the second play of the game when Ryan Jones broke a 54-yard touchdown run, but Hampton Bays held its own, for the most part, after that. Brandon Ventarola punched in the Mustangs second touchdown of the night from three yards out with five minutes remaining in the second half, and as Doulos noted, he would have went into the locker room at halftime OK with being down 13 at that point, but it didn’t happen.

Right after Hampton Bays senior Quinn Smith converted a 4th and 1 run, senior quarterback Lucas Brown was intercepted by Joey Spallina. Brown chased Spallina down to save it from being a pick-six, but Mount Sinai eventually scored just before halftime on a four-yard pass play from Ventarola to Kevin Carron.

The Mustangs scored their final touchdown of the night with just under three minutes remaining in the game, but the Baymen were able to get on board on a trick play. Smith took a handoff from Brown and ran right as if he was going to carry the ball, but he stopped, threw across the field to a wide open Brown, who raced down the field 73 yards for the touchdown, bringing the Hampton Bays crowd on hand to its feet and sending all of its players on the sideline in a frenzy.

The outcome of the game may not have been what the Baymen would have liked, but being able to successfully run what the players dubbed the “Baymen Beefsteak” — a nod to the infamous sandwich sold at their home games — they all went home with smiles on their faces.

“Finally happy to run the Baymen Beefsteak,” Smith said after the game. “Coach had been teasing me with it all season saying, ‘Quinn, you’re going to run it.’ He finally let me run it, and we had a positive result, we scored. Couldn’t have ended the season better.”

Brown said that when the team started the season 0-4 no one expected the Baymen to make the postseason, except for the players and coaches, and because of that, it ended up being a fun season.

“We couldn’t have done it without the coaches,” senior Nick Corredor said. “All this hard work, pushing us so hard, we just couldn’t do it without them. All the confidence they gave us was great, and we were grateful to have made to the postseason and we’re proud.”

There are over a dozen players graduating this spring, including Brown, Corredor and Smith, to name a few, but Doulos said that there should be 17 players returning next year who played this year, and with a few more additions from junior varsity, they should be able to field a full varsity team. But the players are going to have to come ready to work, he said.

“They have to buy in,” he said. “They have to make sure they’re here, that they’re committed to being a football player. This is what we do — you show up to our camps and you come to every practice — and I think having that discipline going forward is going to help us in the future.”

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