Jordan Heyman knows it's not how you start, but how you finish. Heyman had a mostly forgettable first quarter as Half Hollow Hills East was forced to punt on its first two possessions.
But with 39 seconds remaining in the first quarter, he hit Tyler Sanders with a 36-yard touchdown pass to get Hills East rolling. The senior quarterback finished with five touchdown passes as Hills East defeated visiting Bellport, 38-6, on Saturday in a Suffolk II football game.
Heyman completed 11 of 23 passes for 301 yards, including two scoring strikes to Lucas Martin of 42 and 41 yards. Hills East (3-1) snapped an 11-game losing streak to Bellport, which fell to 2-2.
“We leaned on our defense in the first 11 minutes of the game. [Bellport] put a lot of pressure on us early,” Heyman said. “But once we get into the groove, it’s hard to stop us.”
Hills East extended the lead when Heyman found Martin for 42 yards with 2:09 left in the first half. Max Futter added the extra-point kick for the 14-0 lead. The four-play, 57-yard drive was keyed by a 10-yard pass to sophomore running back Daniel White.
"Whenever you play a top team, it’s going to be a difficult start,” Hills East coach Alex Marcelin said.
The Hills East defense forced a three-and-out on Bellport’s next drive. Linebacker Max Kulberg recorded a sack for a loss of 7 yards. With 19 seconds left, Futter added a 28-yard field goal to make it 17-0.
But Hills East wasn’t done. The defense came up with another big play. Lineman Max Drehwing snagged a tipped pass with six seconds left. Rather than run out the clock, Marcelin chose to put the ball in the air. Heyman found Futter for a 17-yard touchdown and a 24-0 lead.
White was the perfect complement to Heyman and the Hills East offense. He carried 27 times for 102 yards.
“He’s a very shifty guy,” Heyman said. “He loves getting outside against a team like this when they're daring us to run the ball. He’s been great.”
Early in the fourth quarter, Bellport’s only score came after a turnover. Defensive back Kingston John made the Clippers’ second interception of the game. That turnover set up a seven-play, 90-yard drive capped by John’s 8-yard touchdown run.
Futter added: “When we can come out here and show everybody that we’re the real deal, it means a lot to us.”