Jason Hunt of Bellport receives the Burnett Award as the defensive player of the year, presented by Newsday at the Suffolk County High School Football Awards dinner on Monday in Hauppauge Credit: Dawn McCormick

Jason Hunt could impact a Bellport football game in so many ways. The two-way starting captain had a knack for making big plays on both sides of the ball.

Hunt was at his best when Bellport needed him the most.

Perhaps his most important contribution came in the Suffolk Division II final.

Bellport erased a 14-point, first-quarter deficit with three big defensive plays. And Hunt started the landslide of defensive gems.

He came off the edge and blocked a punt inside the Northport 6 to set up the Clippers' first score. They never looked back.

Hunt and Donte Phillips scored two touchdowns each as the Clippers reeled off 35 unanswered points and beat Northport, 35-14, to claim the school’s second straight Suffolk Division II title at Stony Brook University’s LaValle Stadium.

“He was such a fantastic defensive player.” Bellport coach Jamie Fabian said. “Jason was easily one of the top players on Long Island. He was a force on our defense, making big plays in every game.”

For his accomplishments, Hunt earned Newsday’s 12th Annual Rob Burnett Defensive Player of the Year Award. He was honored at the Suffolk County High School Football Coaches Association banquet on Monday night at the Hyatt Regency Long Island of Hauppauge.

The other finalists were Benny Sands of Sayville and Josh Isaacs of Half Hollow Hills East.

The 6-2, 190-pound Hunt made 74 tackles, including 56 solos, 18 sacks and had 13 tackles for a loss.

“We reached the LIC with an aggressive defense that helped us pull out some games,” Fabian said. “Jason was the foundation of that defense. He was so explosive.”

Hunt also blocked a punt in the regular season against Northport in a 21-7 win.

"He made things happen,” Fabian said. “He had a stretch of five games where he had two or three sacks. It was incredible.”

Hunt was also a turnover machine. He forced three fumbles, had three recoveries, five pass breakups and blocked two punts.

“He was so quick off the edge,” Fabian said. “And even the punts that he didn’t block, he forced the punter to kick in a different direction.”   

Hunt was an exceptional run stopper and had so much speed he could cover halfbacks in space.

“There wasn’t anything he couldn’t do,” Fabian said. “He was a big reason we went through a very tough division.”


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