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On This Day In History | 2012

September 14, 2018
Football 2012

Liotine carries the ball vs. the Bonackers (PC: Bruce Jeffrey)

On this day six years ago, the football team engineered an incredible comeback vs. Easthampton to move to 2-0 on the season. Here is the recap of the game from Brett Mauser of the Easthampton Press.

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Bonac Football Loses Heartbreaker to Stony Brook

Barely a minute from rejoicing, from a long yet celebratory bus ride home from the north shore, it seemed as though the hard work during the offseason and throughout the week in preparation was finally—thankfully—going to pay off for the East Hampton football team. Late on Friday night at Buyers’ Park in Stony Brook, the Bonackers had the Bears on the ropes.

However, that the Bonackers haven’t recently emerged triumphant was also the cause for their unraveling against Stony Brook. They failed to close out the host Bears, who scored 15 points with less than two minutes remaining in the game, including a 70-yard interception return for a touchdown with 22 seconds left, to score a most improbable 20-14 victory in front of their home crowd.

“These guys are just not experienced at winning football games,” Bonac head coach Bill Barbour said of his team. “They don’t know what it feels like. Winning breeds confidence, confidence breeds more confidence, and right now we don’t have that.”

Following an offsides penalty and a 3-yard run on first down, the Bonackers (0-2 Division IV) had the ball 2nd-and-2 at the Bears’ 26-yard line with an 8-point lead. One more first down would have sealed the victory, East Hampton’s first since 2010. Instead, the mistakes that plagued them for much of the game resurfaced in crunch time—a false start penalty, a dropped toss to the running back, and on fourth down a fumble on the exchange from center to quarterback.

Still, to that point the Bonacker defense had held Stony Brook—which racked up 38 points in beating Greenport in Week 1—to just six during the game’s first 46 minutes. It even forced six turnovers, including three Sergio Betancur interceptions. Stony Brook (2-0 Division IV) made the final two minutes count, however. Senior Don Liotine, who piled up 113 yards on the ground on the night, showed his versatility on a perfectly executed halfback option pass from the Bears 30-yard line. The senior found wide receiver Tyler Hoegsberg behind the East Hampton secondary and he raced untouched down the right sideline for the touchdown.

“We knew it was coming and we picked it off earlier in the game,” Barbour said. “You try and coach them to be prepared for it, but in the heat of the moment, kids try to come up and make a play and the guy gets behind them. It’s frustrating. If I had the answer for it, we wouldn’t have let that happen.”

Needing two points to tie, Stony Brook snapped the ball to Liotine, who roared around the right end and plunged into the end zone, making the score 14-all.

On the ensuing drive, East Hampton quarterback Cortland Heneveld connected on consecutive attempts to Peter Vaziri and Thomas Nelson to give East Hampton possession at the Stony Brook 35-yard line with 40 seconds remaining. On second down, though, linebacker Austin Hulse dropped into coverage and snatched Heneveld’s throw out of the air at the Bears’ 30 and saw nothing but daylight in front of him. The senior won the footrace to the left pylon, giving Stony Brook a 6-point lead with 22 seconds remaining.

East Hampton went four downs and out in its final possession.

“We made too many mistakes,” Barbour said. “I evidently didn’t prepare them for this situation. It boils down to me and my preparation and my training them. Clearly I have not done that.”

Bonac used a big play of its own to take an early lead. On third down from their own 25, Heneveld rolled to his right and found Nelson on the sideline. The junior made one move and then sped to the end zone for a 75-yard touchdown. Stony Brook crept to 7-6 by halftime, but East Hampton opened the second stanza with a 51-yard drive that culminated with Vaziri taking a pitch from Heneveld and scoring from 9 yards out, making the score 14-6.

Having forced six turnovers, having given the ball away five times and having squandered countless other opportunities to put points on the board or at least move the chains, Friday’s ranks at or near the top in the recent string of hard-to-swallow defeats. Bonac hopes to end its 15-game slide, which dates back to 2010, next week.

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