In a head-to-head matchup Saturday, Oct. 2, between the Bellport Clippers (2-1) and Lindenhurst Bulldogs (3-0), each respective team looked to, with a win, come one game closer to the undefeated Northport Lions (3-0) at the top of the division. The Clippers hit the field Saturday running, literally. On the Clippers’ first drive, junior running back Donte Phillips, with a pair of nice runs, put Bellport at their own 48-yard line. Though nobody knew then, Phillips would go on to have a mammoth of a game for the Clippers, so with already two touches, the next play featured a wide receiver to capitalize on Phillips’s hot start.
Rolling out of the pocket, Bellport quarterback Jack Halpin found an uncovered Riley Murphy for a 52-yard touchdown reception. Murphy couldn’t celebrate for too long, for he had to kick a field goal, which he drilled, to put the Clippers up early, 7-0. Bellport’s defense remained strong as usual, keeping Lindenhurst at bay from answering back.
As the clock ticked down in the first quarter, Bellport refused to get complacent with the score. With seconds remaining in the first quarter, Phillips dashed downfield for a 30-yard run to put Bellport down at Lindy’s 10-yard line going into the second quarter. As one can guess, Phillips was handed the ball again just this time in the red zone, where he scored to put Bellport up by 13. Riley Murphy made his way on the field and effortlessly kicked home the extra point, 14-0 Bellport. Lindenhurst wasn’t done just yet, though. Cornerback Orrik Blaise’s interception gave his team a chance at a comeback. Turning it over to the offense, Lindenhurst’s Johnny Aquino’s 83-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Christian Capogna put Lindenhurst within 12 with 10 minutes left in the second quarter. However, this was all in vain, as Calvin Pedatella blocked the extra point kick, sucking the life out of Lindenhurst for the quarter and effectively for the game, making it 14-6 Bellport.
After Lindenhurst’s brief boost in energy, the Clippers poured on the offense. Jason Hunt played a role in this with a sack and interception in one drive. Thanks to Hunt, Halpin eagerly got the ball and aired it out to Justin Miles for a 30-yard reception. On the 1-yard line, Phillips got called onto the field to own the red zone like he patently does. Phillips slipped his way into the end zone for his second touchdown of the game, putting the Clippers up 21-6. As the clock ticked down to less than two minutes left in the second quarter, Lindenhurst looked to enter the locker room with some momentum. The Bulldogs trekked down the field in their last effort of the first half. Bellport junior Alex Brigadir put a quick end to that, however. Brigadir witnessed Hunt’s interception just a few minutes before and decided to one-up him. Brigadir intercepted Capogna’s erratic throw, running for over 70 yards until he got brought down.
This sealed the first half for the Clippers, up 27-6 following Halpin’s final-second touchdown run. The Clippers went on to defeat Lindenhurst in an all-around dominant performance by a score of 47-14. Halpin completed 3 of 6 passes for 100 yards, rushed for an additional 136 yards, and scored three touchdowns on eight carries. Phillips went on to rush for 127 yards on 14 carries with two touchdowns.