The Bulldogs Defense comes up big in Homecoming Victory

Joseph Frescott, Sports Editor

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When looking at the schedule for the Lindenhurst Varsity Football team this season, most people were immediately excited for the Homecoming. This was the Suffolk County Championship rematch from last season, where the Bulldogs beat the Lions by a score of 21-17. Both teams started this season off exactly how they wanted to, with the Bulldogs and Lions being 5-0. This game was the battle of the only undefeated teams in Division II football, with the winner securing their spot as the #1 seed for the playoffs. This was especially important this season, as the Suffolk County Championship is being held at higher seeds home field rather than the traditional Stony Brook University field for the first time since 2002. Clearly, a lot was at stake for both teams heading into this match up. 

From the opening kickoff, the two teams proved why they were the best in Division II. The Bulldogs Defense showed up big in the first half holding the West Islip Lions to a measly 56 total yards in the first half. However, the Bulldogs couldn’t get anything going on the offensive side of the ball either, despite the good field position they started their drives with. Because of this, at halftime, the score was tied 0-0. According to Head Coach Nick Lombardo, this was  the game they expected. He stated, “We knew they were gonna be a good team and we came into the game expecting a defensive battle.”

 

The turning point of the game came right after halftime, when senior Matt Josefson took the kickoff back for a 91 yard touchdown. This gave the Bulldogs all of the momentum, which they used to continue their defensive domination. The closest the Lions came to scoring any points came in the 3rd quarter, when they attempted a 43 yard field goal. This field goal proceeded to be blocked by senior Warren Dixon, who now has 3 blocked kicks this season. 

The game continued to be a defensive battle going into the fourth quarter, with the Bulldogs only being up 7-0. It came down to the last minute of the game, with Lindenhurst stopping West Islip on fourth down. This meant that the Bulldogs only needed one first down to win the game. On fourth and 1, Jack Winey got the first down and much more, running 30 yards into the end zone to put Lindenhurst up 14-0 with a minute left in the game, ending any hope of a comeback for the Lions. 

When asked how he felt about the game, Lombardo said, “I am proud of my guys. It wasn’t our best game, but we did enough to win and that’s all that matters.” The Bulldogs improved to 6-0 after this huge win, and look to be the team to beat in Division II with playoffs only weeks away.