Jay Spinelli and his Half Hollow Hills East teammates had a good feeling about their season-opening game against top-seeded Bay Shore. Even if the mindset wasn’t shared by many who follow Suffolk football.
“A lot of people thought Bay Shore would handle us,” Spinelli said. “But we came up big and welcomed [Bay Shore] to League II.”
Indeed. Hills East senior Kendall Nero-Clark picked off a pass in the end zone on the last play of the game to preserve the No. 7 Thunderbirds’ 21-13 win against host Bay Shore in the Suffolk II opener for both teams yesterday.
“We just believed the whole summer that we would do good things this year,” Spinelli said. “We followed the game plan, executed and came out with a win.”
Spinelli, a senior quarterback, capped a 15-play, 7:30 drive with a one-yard scoring run and Brandon Peskin’s point after kick gave East a 21-13 lead with 2:53 left in the fourth quarter.
Bay Shore, which moved down from Suffolk I, drove to the East 20-yard line with four seconds remaining. But Nero-Clark’s interception on a third-down play ended the game.
Kevin Sammis had four receptions for 91 yards and had touchdown receptions of 50 and 28 yards for Bay Shore. Quarterback Terrance Day was 9 of 19 for 147 yards and two scores.
Ernesto Mitchell rushed 14 times for 110 yards and had 12 tackles to lead Hills East. Spinelli added 10 rushes for 80 yards, and was 6 of 12 passing for 80 yards with a score.