Bellport made it to the Suffolk II final in the spring before falling to West Islip. Now the Clippers are sitting among a crowd of quality teams and are hoping to earn the best possible seed for another run at the title.
The Clippers beat visiting Half Hollow Hills East, 24-16, on Saturday.
So as far as records go, there are three teams at the top of the division. Bellport is 4-1, joining Lindenhurst, which moved to 4-1 by dropping Northport to 4-1.
But the power rankings right now have Lindenhurst first, Bellport second and Northport third.
Senior quarterback Jack Halpin helped power the Clippers against Hills East (3-2), running for two touchdowns and throwing for one. Junior running back Donte Phillips helped as well, rushing 19 times for 107 yards.
The Clippers struck first in the first quarter. Halpin tossed an 82-yard touchdown pass to Justin Miles. It stayed 6-0 because the kick failed.
Later in the quarter, Halpin raced 39 yards for a score, then connected on a two-point pass to Calvin Pedatella, making it 14-0.
Before the quarter was done, Gianni D’Agnese booted a 24-yard field goal for the Thunderbirds, Then Halpin struck again in the second quarter, running 16 yards for a score. So it was a 21-3 game at the intermission.
Hills East star Dakim Griffin got his team back in the game. The 5-7 senior halfback scored on a 19-yard run in the third quarter. D’Agnese’s PAT cut the deficit to 11.
The lead was up to 24-10 in the fourth. Griffin then delivered another touchdown, this one on a 75-yard run. The lead was down to eight, but it remained that way after a two-point conversion run failed.
— Brian Heyman