Port's All-County junior, Jason Ham gained 205 yards rushing on 34 carries to help propel the Vikings to a 10-6 win over South Side. The win was Port's first against one loss. Two weeks ago the Vikings were shut out in their season opener by Garden City 34-0. While Ham accounted for 90 percent of Port's overall offense, it was Chris Morea and George Dembala who put the points on the board. Morea's 15 yard touchdown run and Dembala's pat gave Port a 7-0 lead early in the first quarter. Dembala added a 28 yard field goal late in the third quarter to boost Port's lead to 10-0. It was Dembala's accurate kicking that provided the margin of victory in the evenly contested game. South Side scored their lone touchdown late in the game.
Port's junior fullback Jason Ham gained 205 yards against South Side. #85 Tom Love looks to set up a block. Photo by Jerry Morea.
This Saturday, Oct. 3 (2 p.m.) Port will host Westbury (2-0). Port should be a slight favorite as determined by preseason seedings and results against a common opponent South Side. Westbury eked out a narrow 22-20 win over South Side in their first game of the season. The Westbury-Port rivalry goes back many years. Surely Westbury will be trying to avenge a 14-12 loss to Port in 1995. It should be a good game.
Port's touchdown drive started midway into the first quarter from their own 35 yard line. Aaron Shkuda gained 11 on a keeper. Two runs by Ham and a 5 yard penalty against South Side put the ball across mid-field. Shkuda's pass to Larry Zaccherio was good for 25 yards. On the next play Morea swept around left end for the score. Dembala added the pat. After the ensuing kick-off, South Side mounted a drive that took the ball into Port territory. The rally was stopped when Port's defensive back Mike Hooper intercepted a pass to give Port the ball on their own 29. Vikings back Ham went to work, slashing and bulling his way on runs of 15, 8 and 22 yards only to have the drive slowed by a 15 yard clipping penalty and a Jimmy Berry fumble. After an exchange of punts, South Side engineered a drive that took them down to the Port 34. This time Port's sophomore safety Spencer Bodner intercepted a South Side pass on Port's 4 yard line to kill the drive.
In the second half, Frank Zaccheris recovered a South Side fumble from which Port started a drive that took them down to South Side's 13 yard line. Three carries by Ham advanced the ball to the 5. On fourth and two, Port opted for a field goal attempt. Here, Dembala connected for a 28 yard field goal and Port extended its lead to 10-0. Later in the second half, Ham ran back a South Side punt for 30 yards to mid-field and Port started another drive that moved the ball deep into South Side territory. However, a completed Shkuda to Germani pass was fumbled and recovered by South Side on their own 18 yard line. After a South Side drive was halted at midfield, Ham carried six consecutive times and returned the ball back into South Side territory before Port turned the ball over to South Side. With less than three minutes remaining South Side threw six passes and completed four. The last pass resulted in a 5 yard touchdown. Port's Tom Love blocked the pat attempt. A South Side on-side kick was unsuccessful and Port ran out the clock to preserve the win.
In the opening game for both teams, top-seeded Garden City held the Vikings to just two first downs and a total 70 yards in offense. Port's Jason Ham was held to 31 yards on 20 carries. Garden City scored on their second possession and tallied 28 points in the first half. Garden City had an easy time picking apart Port's defense while passing and running for five touchdowns.
Undermanned and undersized the Port JV squad put up a good battle against South Side JV on Saturday morning. After a shaky first half, Port settled down and played good hard-nose football. Port lost 22-0, but the score would have been much closer had Port not failed to capitalize on several scoring opportunities. For this game the team was able to suit-up the bare minimum number of eligible players. A previous game against Garden City resulted in forfeiture.