It came right down to the wire for Hempstead in their opening game against Valley Stream Central in Nassau I Thursday. Karl Wright's interception with 1:42 left in the fourth quarter sealed a 20-16 victory.
Hempstead took a 20-9 lead after a Khalik Watts touchdown pass to Joecephus Vanable on the first play of the fourth quarter. Central cut it to 20-16 on a Vito Friscia pass to Stephen Falana later in the fourth, but the Wright interception thwarted any comeback hopes. Vanable made two catches for 135 yards in the win.
Malik Russell's 4-yard run with 10:12 left in the first quarter put the Tigers ahead 6-0. Russell ran for 62 yards on eight carries.
Hempstead used a three running back attack in the season's first week. Shamar Jack ran for 84 yards on 14 carries. Darius Meadors ran for 68 yards on nine carries.
Watts threw for 250 yards and two touchdowns for Hempstead (1-0).