With a shutout by a dominant Newfield defense in the balance Friday night, a big pass play by Smithtown West with a little more than a minute left put the Wolverines in position to get on the scoreboard.
But Dylan Harned intercepted a pass at the 10-yard line with one minute left and Newfield let the clock run out in a 14-0 win over host Smithtown West in Suffolk II football in the season opener.
"We wanted a shutout," Newfield defensive lineman James Manginelli said. "That's all we wanted. That was important. That last drive scared me, but we got it done."
Newfield had six sacks and let Smithtown West cross into Wolverines territory only three times. The farthest Smithtown West got was the Wolverines' 28-yard line.
"It was our defensive line," Newfield linebacker Nick Esposito said. "They really stepped up. They blew up a lot of plays. We have some new faces at linebacker, but we're going to be good."
Newfield is the defending Long Island champions and returns just one starter on offense, and it couldn't get any offense going early on, with three-and-outs on its first three possessions. The Wolverines took advantage of great field position when Smithtown West had a 9-yard punt.
The Wolverines began the drive at the Smithtown West 35 and after no gain on first down, Joe Feliciano ran up the middle into a pile and cut to his left for a 19-yard gain. Feliciano capped the six-play drive with an 8-yard run left and Alex Gough kicked the extra point to give Newfield a 7-0 lead with 5:08 left in the first half.
Smithtown West was limited to one first down in the first half and it came on its first possession of the game.
After Newfield produced another three-and-out following the first TD, it had good field position again to start the second scoring drive. The drive started at the Smithtown West 37 and was capped by a 12-yard TD run by Terrell Perryman, who broke a tackle at the 5 to make it 14-0 with 2:12 left in the half.
Newfield struggled offensively in the second half, but the defense continued to dominate. Smithtown West had one drive early in the fourth quarter that began at its own 8-yard line, but the defense stopped it at the 48 and forced a punt.
"We have a physical defense and played up to it," Newfield coach Joe Piccinnini said. "They were dominating."
Like Esposito, linebacker Jack McKeever gave credit to the line.
"Our defensive line is stacked," he said. "Whenever the quarterback went up the middle, it was all them. The shutout feels good. We definitely needed the defense to step up."