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Oct 21, 2019 5:17 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Westhampton Beach Football Defeats East Islip To Take Over First Place In Division III

Senior Paul Boutin intercepts a pass in stride late in the game to seal the game for the Hurricanes. RON ESPOSITO
Oct 22, 2019 5:52 PM

Despite his team leading 17-6 at halftime, Westhampton Beach football head coach Bryan Schaumloffel knew that if his team was going to stay in the lead and grab a win on its home field over powerhouse East Islip on Friday night, it was going to need big plays from some of its players.

Paul Boutin, step right up.

The senior intercepted a pair of passes, both in the second half, and while a number of Hurricanes shined in what ended up being a 31-21 victory, it was Boutin, making just his second start on defense, who took the limelight on Friday night.

The victory pushed Westhampton Beach (5-1 Division III, 149.01 power points) ahead of undefeated Sayville (6-0 Division III, 145.54 power points) for first place in Division III.

“Those are big-time plays,” Schaumloffel said of Boutin’s picks, after the game. “We brought the guys in right after halftime and said, ‘Somebody has to make a play.’ Paulie came up and made a play, and everyone came up and made a play. There’s a lot of unsung heroes out there that, maybe they don’t get the sack, but they did something that really helped us win.”

Boutin’s first interception came in the third quarter, when he perfectly timed a pass from East Islip’s Brandon Miller and caught the ball in stride as he returned it 52 yards to the Redmen’s 19-yard line. Just two plays later, the ’Canes capitalized on the turnover when junior quarterback Christian Capuano hit junior Jackson Hulse on a cross route for an 18-yard touchdown, giving Westhampton Beach a 24-6 lead with 1:07 remaining in the third.

East Islip and its potent passing attack did not go down without a fight, as Schaumloffel expected. On 4th and 10 with 10:34 remaining in the game, Miller connected with Rob Kreush on a 35-yard scoring strike to make it 24-13, then Miller added a 5-yard touchdown pass to Nick Baldino and converted the two-point conversion pass to Anthony Carroll to make it 24-21 with 4:08 left.

Senior Jaden AlfanoStJohn, who came out of the game with an injury during East Islip’s last scoring drive, returned to the field and willed the ’Canes to their final touchdown, capping a four-play, 82-yard drive that he mostly gained with a 35-yard touchdown.

“I knew I had to help my team out, and I knew I had to suck it up,” he said of returning to the game. “It’s football, so I’m going to get hit. I knew I had to make a play. My team played awesome today and we finished as a team.”

With East Islip’s offense once again driving in the final minutes, Boutin made an acrobatic catch over an East Islip receiver to intercept his second pass of the game and clinch the victory for Westhampton Beach.

Boutin said he watched a lot of film on East Islip’s passing attack leading up to Friday night’s game and prepared for their out routes. On his first interception, Boutin said he saw the East Islip player run the out route. “I knew it was coming. I followed the quarterback’s eyes and jumped on the pick,” he said.

“Great team win,” he said. “So shocked at how we all played, and even how I played … I did not expect to do that. This is my second game on defense and I just stepped up. We all stepped up and got this victory.”

Westhampton Beach had been struggling to put together a full game on both sides of the ball in the past few games, but its offense awoke this past Friday night. It scored on its first three possessions of the game to take a commanding 17-0 lead, the first a 19-yard touchdown pass and catch from Capuano to junior Aidan Cassara just over three minutes into the game. Senior Aidan Cumisky caught a pass that was slightly deflected at the line of scrimmage for a 45-yard touchdown with just under five minutes remaining in the first, then Hulse capped an 11-play, 52-yard drive with a 31-yard field goal to make it a 17-point game with 9:13 remaining in the first half.

Capuano had his best game of the season, completing 17 of 22 passes for 205 yards and three touchdown passes to one interception. Jaden AlfanoStJohn rushed for 123 yards on 17 carries and caught seven passes for 76 yards. Cassara caught five passes for 37 yards.

“Offensive coordinator Mark Johnson did a great job of planning all week, having a game plan to put points on the board,” Schaumloffel said. “Our defense made plays when we had to. [East Islip] is a great football program. They’re one of the blue bloods of Suffolk County and Long Island football, we knew they weren’t going to lie down at halftime. We had to come out and play a great second half. We made a lot of mistakes in the second half, but we did it when we had to.”

The 17 points that the ’Canes put on the board all came before East Islip’s potent offense recorded a first down due to a swarming Westhampton Beach defense, led by Jesse AlfanoStJohn, who led the team with three sacks. Cumisky and senior Kevin Dillon each had two sacks, and Hulse also had a sack. Jaden AlfanoStJohn also had an interception to go along with Boutin’s two.

“We needed to put pressure on the quarterback [and] force some turnovers because we knew the game just wouldn’t fall into our hands,” Jesse AlfanoStJohn said. “We blitzed a good amount and got into the backfield and took the quarterback down as many times as we could and that led to more balls being picked by our team.”

Westhampton Beach hosts crosstown rival Eastport-South Manor this Friday night at 6 p.m. and will play its final regular season game a week later on November 1 at Islip at 7 p.m. Schaumloffel called the next two weeks “dangerous” because both ESM and Islip, while they may be down this season, both have historically played the ’Canes tough, especially ESM. This year’s game against the Sharks will start an annual tradition between the two schools. The annual game will be for the Wildfire Cup, a trophy that’s currently being put together and that will honor firehouses within the two districts that battled the wildfires in the area in 1995.

But Friday’s victory over East Islip shows that despite Sayville being undefeated, the county title is up for grabs this season.

“The league is wide open … it’s who wants it right now, who wants it most, and we’re fired up and we’re ready for playoff time,” Jaden AlfanoStJohn said. “We’re excited to have home games if we win the next two games and we’re just ready to play Westhampton Beach football.”


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