The injuries the Southampton/Pierson/Bridgehampton football team suffered week two in a lopsided loss at home to Shoreham-Wading River are starting to take a toll.
The shorthanded Mariners suffered a 21-0 loss at home to Center Moriches on Friday to fall to 2-3 on the season, and coupled with a 29-0 loss to rival Hampton Bays the week before, they’ve been outscored 50-0 their past two games. It’s been a sharp decline for
Southampton, which was 2-1 after its first three games and seemed on track for its first playoff berth in 14 years. But the injuries have mounted up for what was already a thin roster to begin with.
Southampton head coach Chris Campbell said the toughest loss has been to senior Sincere Faggins, the team’s starting quarterback and cornerback, who has a slight tear in one of his shoulder ligaments and a deep bone bruise in the same shoulder, which will most likely finish his season.
“Honestly … once we had that major injury to Sini we’ve been in scramble mode,” Campbell admitted on Monday. “We’ve had to use a lot more younger guys to fill some positions, and it’s been a real struggle. You can’t play football if you don’t block and if you don’t know what you’re responsible for and if you don’t know your assignments. You have to block somebody. It’s very, very frustrating, and I don’t think some of the guys are up for the challenge at this point.
“No blocking equals no football,” he reiterated. “The games could be 21-0, 49-0, if that’s going to be the case. We, as coaches, have to figure out a way to rectify all of this.”
Campbell said he’s appreciated the continued hard work and play of Southampton senior Dakoda Smith and Pierson junior Hudson Brindle. Both have taken their bumps and bruises this season, with Smith continuing to lead the team at quarterback and he’s also been stout on defense as well with another interception Friday night against Center Moriches. Brindle “played his heart out,” on Friday night, Campbell said, and he took over the kicking duties against Center Moriches and excelled at that as well, the head coach said.
Mathematically, the Mariners are still in the playoff hunt, even if they lose to Mount Sinai at home this Friday night at 6:30 p.m., which they’re expected to do against the undefeated and first-place Mustangs. But if they can pull off victories over Bayport-Blue Point next Friday at home and on the road at Port Jefferson the following week, the Mariners could very well grab the eighth and final playoff spot in Division IV.
“We need to see where we are with the guys, see where they are mentally, and recharge them a little bit,” Campbell said. “We have to make them understand that they’re still in it, and as coaches, we have to push all of the correct buttons.
“It was a deflating moment after this game,” he added. “We were hard on them as coaches, and they are student-athletes, that we’re trying to max-out their ability. It could be a tough couple of weeks ahead of us, but it’ll be a character check and we’ll see who is going take it on. Hopefully, they all do, and we get a playoff spot. If not, we’ll have to finish out the year strong and see what we have for next season.”