It’s a learning experience. Always. The Huntington football team walked away from last week’s season opening loss and regrouped. After enjoying a productive week of practice, Blue Devil players can’t wait to take the field again on Saturday afternoon at Copiague.
Huntington gave powerful North Babylon everything it could handle through three quarters last weekend. The Blue Devils trailed at halftime, 12-7. But after a scoreless third quarter, the bottom dropped out. The Bulldogs capitalized on mistakes to score 20 unanswered points in the final frame and win the game, 32-7.
North Babylon rushed 50 times for 425 yards, with many big plays going right down the middle of the field. Huntington has worked all week to make sure nothing like that ever happens again. The Blue Devils learned from last week’s game.
“We have some young players in new positions,” head coach Steve Muller said. “They are working hard. We’ll get it right.” Cutting down on mistakes will be a key to Huntington’s ability to win games in Suffolk Division II, which is wide open after No. 1 Bay Shore lost its opener last week.
Blue Devil captain Luke Eidle
takes a break. (Mike Connell photo.)
Copiague also lost on opening day, falling to Smithtown East, 54-6. A big crowd is expected for the game on Saturday, which will be Homecoming Day for the Eagles. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m.
There were some bright spots for Huntington last week. The Blue Devils’ defense played well for long stretches of the game and held North Babylon in check for many offensive series. Huntington quarterback John Paci IV connected on a 45 yard scoring strike to Alex LaBella, who also had several strong kick returns. Running back Sebastian Abreu was also productive, gobbling up yardage on the ground.
Huntington missed a field goal and also had an 88 yard touchdown called back because of a penalty. “We need to capitalize on more opportunities,” Muller said.
The Blue Devils are happy with how this week’s practice sessions unfolded and optimistic about the team’s prospects against Copiague. “We have really been trying to perfect our mistakes last week on offense and defense,” LaBella. “Our coaches have really been working hard as well as my teammates, so I expect a big win.”
Huntington wants to take the good from last week’s game and eliminate the parts that led to North Babylon gaining the upper hand. “Everyone wants to build on last Saturday’s loss,” Sam Bergman said. “We’ve been working hard all week and all of us are ready to beat Copiague on their homecoming. I think as long as our offense, defense and special teams play all out, we will do well.”