In their season home opener the Great Neck North Blazers were looking to rebound from a stunning 20-0 loss to Division against a formidable Lynbrook opponent. Equivalent to the Blazers, the Lynbrook Owls also came into the game donning a 1-1 record. The game was a pivotal one in Conference Three action, both teams are probably going to be vying for the last playoff spot in the conference, with Wantagh, Plainedge and Bethpage the heavy favorites for the top three spots.
With their home crowd behind them, the Blazers were pumped up to get the kickoff under way. Early in the quarter, the Blazers appeared as if they would strike first after a fumble recovery ran back 20 yards to the end zone by Linebacker Andrew Phillips and was called back because of a penalty. The first quarter saw a battle of the defenses, with both teams being held scoreless as the quarter came to a close.
In the second quarter, Lynbrook was able to drive the ball downfield deep into Blazer territory. Inside the North 10-yard line the Owls ran a deceiving play action pass to their tight end for a touchdown, which was within inches of being picked off by Cornerback Andrew Lamkay. On the ensuing extra point attempt, Linebacker Kenny Sussman busted through the line to bat down the kick, to keep Lynbrook's lead at 6-0. The defenses would hold each other to a standstill from that point on in the first half. With the game still very much in tact, the Blazers came out optimistic they could get the offense going and put some points on the board. In the air and on the ground, the Blazers offense struggled to get into any kind of a rhythm. The Owls played an airtight defense putting heavy pressure on Quarterback Nicky Stertz, forcing him to throw two second-half interceptions, and not allowing Running Backs Charles Kim and Bryan Hakimi to break out any big runs. On defense, Lynbrook's three-man backfield gave the Blazer defense fits, as they were able to pound the ball downfield, and consistently keep the chains moving. Late in the third quarter, Lynbrook brought the ball into red zone territory and was able to run the ball into the end zone, extending their lead to 12-0. Once again though, the Blazers stepped up on defending the extra point, as Lynbrook tried to score a two-point conversion, running an option play, on which the Blazers were able to force a fumble.
As the fouth quarter got under way, Lynbrook's offense continued to move the ball downfield. The Owls managed to get all the way down to the Blazer one-yard line on a fourth down situation. With the game still up for grabs early in the fourth quarter, the Blazers defense was able to stop Lynbrook cold on what was an impressive goal-line stand to keep Great Neck North's hope alive. Down by two touchdowns, and with plenty of time for a comeback, the Blazers offense hoped to maintain the momentum from the preceding goal-line stand. Early in the Blazers offensive drive the Owls defense continued to impress, as they pressured Nicky Stertz forcing another interception deep within Blazer territory, to seal the victory. Lynbrook would go on to put another score on the board with time winding down, to give them a 19-0 lead, and the win.
For the Blazers who dropped to a 1-2 record, it is still very early in the season, and much is yet to be decided. Their next opponent, Jericho, should help the Blazers to get back to the .500 mark, as Jericho's football team has struggled throughout recent years.
10/12 @ Jericho 2 p.m.
10/19 vs. Floral Park 2 p.m.
10/26 @ New Hyde Park 2 p.m.
11/9 vs. Roslyn
11/16 vs. Great Neck South