It’s called a game-changer — the one play that swings momentum and defines the outcome of a game. Westhampton halfback Dylan Laube has a bevy of game-changers on his highlight reel, and on Friday night, he added to that collection.
Laube took a handoff going over right tackle, followed a big block from fullback Liam McIntyre and burst into the open field. As soon as he hit the second level of the Sayville defense, he cut back against the flow and raced untouched 93 yards for a third-quarter touchdown.
Laube’s scoring jaunt produced a three-touchdown lead as Westhampton beat Sayville, 23-8. He finished with 259 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries before a crowd of more than 1,400 in a Suffolk III game.
It was the first time that Westhampton (7-0) had beaten Sayville in coach Bill Parry’s 21 years with the school and the Hurricanes’ first win over Sayville since 1956.
“He’s capable of breaking that big run on any carry,” Parry said of Laube. “And with McIntyre back in the lineup, Dylan is going to have more of those game-changing runs.”
McIntyre, in his second game back from a broken left hand and sporting a club to protect the injury, was as instrumental on defense as he was on offense. McIntyre and a host of defenders stuffed quarterback James Lyons on a fourth-and-1 run at the Westhampton 40 on Sayville’s first possession.
“That was a big stop for our defense,” said McIntyre, who made seven tackles at middle linebacker and added 51 yards on 10 carries. “It gave us the opportunity to score first.”
Westhampton quickly capitalized as McIntyre’s 11-yard TD run capped an 11-play, 60-yard drive. Charles Fee added the extra point for a 7-0 lead.
McIntyre’s one-hand grab of a pass from Clarke Lewis for 15 yards and a first down at the Sayville 19 keyed the drive. “Perfect throw to my right hand coming across the defense right to left,” McIntyre said. “He put it right there.”
The Westhampton secondary set up its next touchdown. Nolan Quinlan halted a Sayville drive at the 5-yard line with a leaping interception that he returned 64 yards to the Sayville 31.
“Our defense came up with some big plays,” Parry said.
Laube ran 30 yards to the 1 and then scored for a 14-0 lead.
Sayville (4-3) was playing without injured quarterback Jacob Cheshire but gave Westhampton everything it could handle.
Lyons played admirably in his first game at quarterback, throwing for 106 yards and a 12-yard touchdown to Nate Bauland. He added the two-point conversion toss to Brock Murtha, who made a nice catch in the back of the end zone.
“We play hard every game and our expectations are higher than this,” Sayville coach Reade Sands said. “We’re not rookies anymore. We roll to win every time we take the field, and this was not acceptable. We’ll be better.”