Kocis-to-Jamison fake punt keys Huntington win
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Ben Kocis glanced over at Christian Jamison, who was standing wide right at the line of scrimmage. Jamison, the Huntington wide receiver, gave the nod to Kocis, the quarterback/punter, about what play was about to be run.
It was fourth-and-5 at the Huntington 37-yard line early in the third quarter and Kocis was getting set to punt.
Instead, Kocis hit Jamison for a 29-yard reception down the right sideline on a fake that led to the Blue Devils' go-ahead touchdown in their 17-13 home win over Bellport yesterday in a Suffolk III game.
"Huge momentum swing," said Kocis, who three plays later, hooked up with Infinite Tucker for a 19-yard scoring strike that put Huntington on top 14-7, following Justyn Tesoriero's extra point, with 9:11 left in the third quarter.
"Initially, we were completely expecting to punt, but I saw no one was over by Christian," Kocis said. "He ran a 3-yard route, turned, and I hit him. That play has worked before."
Huntington coach Steve Muller called the fake punt play the turning point for the Blue Devils, who improved to 5-2.
The improvised play also helped boost Kocis's totals. He completed 7 of 18 passes for 77 yards and added an interception.
"We've practiced it a lot. It's built into our system," Muller said. "Ben and I both saw it as well. When we're going to run it, we stand quietly and look at each other. I knew we were going to get it. It was a big first down."
Tucker was glad his lone reception, which he made just inside the left pylon, turned out to be the difference.
"I thought the ball was coming short, but it sailed a little bit because of the wind, so that helped me catch it," said Tucker.
He also made several key pass breakups at defensive back. "I know when to pick up my speed and turn for the ball," Tucker said.
Jabari M'Bhaso had his game in another gear for Bellport (3-4). The junior running back rushed for 64 yards on 21 carries and two touchdowns to keep the Clippers in it.
"We came out explosive, but didn't keep it going," M'Bhaso said. "We kept pushing. My line had good blocks."
Following M'Bhaso's first touchdown run, a 2-yard score in the first quarter, Huntington scored the next 17 points.
Then M'Bhaso capped the game's scoring with a 5-yard touchdown run with 4:49 remaining.
Tesoriero's 24-yard field goal at the midway point of the third quarter made it a two-score game, putting the Clippers in a tough spot the rest of the way.
"We didn't play with enough sense of urgency," Bellport coach Joe Cipp III said. "We needed to establish and execute the off-tackle running game."