Shavar Coffey was in dogged pursuit of a win. Westhampton’s senior linebacker burst through the Half Hollow Hills West front and chased quarterback John Jimenez out of the pocket. The pressure from the speedy Coffey forced an incomplete pass and allowed Westhampton to hold on for a 21-14 road victory over Half Hollow Hills West before a crowd of 800 in a pivotal Suffolk Division III football game in Dix Hills.
“We asked a lot of our defense today against an explosive backfield tandem and they really rose to the challenge,” said Westhampton coach Bryan Schaumloffel. “The game plan was to pressure them into mistakes and prevent the big plays. And I thought we did a fantastic job.”
The win moved Westhampton to 4-1 and dropped Half Hollow Hills West to 3-2. The schedule maker was unkind to the Hurricanes as they get another tough opponent next week when they East Islip (4-1) on Friday at 6 p.m.
“The division as a whole is very tough,” Schaumloffel said. “It’s a grind and this was a big win for us.”
Half Hollow Hills West controlled the ball and the tempo in the first quarter. The Colts opened the scoring on a tipped pass. Jimenez fired a pass in the direction of wide receiver Eliot Porter but the ball was deflected and Porter maintained his concentration and came away with the catch for a 43-yard touchdown for the 7-0 lead.
Westhampton responded in the second quarter when halfback Jaden AlfanoStJohn broke a 70-yard touchdown run in which the defense thought they had him stopped. AlfanoStJohn drove into the line for a 5-yard gain and then rode over the back of a defender, his knee never hitting the turf, and then sprinting to pay dirt with 6:30 left in the half. Jackson Hulse added the kick to tie it at 7.
“He looked stopped for a 5-yard gain and then spun off a Hills defender and raced down the sideline,” Schaumloffel said. “It was an amazing run.”
AlfanoStJohn gave Westhampton the lead when he capped a 13-play, 80-yard drive with a 4-yard touchdown run with 7:43 left in the third quarter. Hulse added the kick to make it 14-7.
Westhampton extended the lead to 21-7 when AlfanoStJohn reached the end zone on a 3-yard run with 6:24 left in the game. He finished with 177 yards and three scores on 25 carries.
The Westhampton defense led by Coffey, inside linebacker Devin Koonmen and safety Matt Leotta stuffed the Colts running game for most of the second half.
With 1:03 left in the game things got interesting when Westhampton shanked a 5-yard punt and the Colts took over at the Hurricanes 15. Porter went into the Wildcat formation and threw a 15-yard scoring pass to Christopher Pappas to make it 21-14.
The recovery of the ensuing onside kick gave the Colts one more possession.
Coffey spoiled the opportunity with final rush.