Sayville announced itself as a contender and may have sent shivers through all of Long Island’s Class III candidates with its performance on Friday night at Westhampton.
The Golden Flashes unveiled a new passing attack behind quarterback Jack Cheshire that rolled up almost 500 yards and scored five touchdowns. Their defense turned in an array of ferocious hits. And though it may need to work on finishing an opponent off it made the big plays at the end of a 34-27 overtime win in Suffolk III football at the Hurricane’s Hansen Memorial Field.
Cheshire threw for 245 of his 471 yards and three of his five touchdowns and Sayville (2-0) deftly executed an onside kick in the first half for a 20-7 halftime lead. But under increased pressure in the second half the junior threw three interceptions and Westhampton converted both in the fourth quarter — by Devin Koonmen and Jesse AlfanoStJohn — into touchdowns. Sayville needed a blocked extra point with about three minutes left and a Brock Murtha interception just to get it to overtime.
Cheshire’s 10-yard touchdown strike, with Michael Argenziano’s extra point, made it 34-27. Westhampton’s bid for a tie or to win ended when quarterback Jeff McBurnie’s pass was tipped and Jayson Gensch snared the ball and rolled to the turf to finish the win.
“I didn’t know if I’d get my hands around it, but I did,” he said. “That was just a crazy game and one of the greatest things I’ve ever been a part of.”
Sayville (2-0) had not beaten Westhampton in its last three attempts, but a once-proud program now seems to be on an ascent. Westhampton (1-1) had not dropped a regular season game since 2016 and was anointed with this season’s top Suffolk III seeding.
“Sayville had been one of the best, but this year we have that LIC mentality back,” said Murtha, who also caught 10 passes for 223 yards and touchdowns of 43, 57 and 65 yards. “They’ve been the top dog. It feels good to be on top again, though we [could] be seeing them again [in the postseason].
“We knew that this was going to be as tough a game as you get,” Sayville coach Reade Sands said. “They are the No. 1 seed and a proud program that has been one of the standard bearers. I am happy we won the game. I’m a little less happy with the mistakes we made that let them back in the game.”
Cheshire finished 32-for-48 passing — quite an introduction to Long Island football. But his first interception in the fourth quarter became a Hurricane drive that ended with McBurnie’s 14-yard TD pass to Jackson Hule. His second became a drive with McBurnie hitting Aidan Cassara for an 18-yard score before the blocked conversion.
Jaden AlfanoStJohn rushed 20 times for 156 yards and had touchdown carries of 19 and 49 yards, McBurnie was 15-for-27 passing for 126 yards and the two scores but was picked off twice for Westhampton.
“We could have this attack all season,” Cheshire said. “It’s got the potential to be amazing.”