A sloppy start gave way to a happy homecoming game for Massapequa on Saturday, as the Chiefs beat Hempstead, 42-8 in Conference I action. Massapequa is now 4-2, while the Tigers fall to 1-5.
It was tough to tell which team has the winning record, especially in the first quarter. The Chiefs fumbled four times in the opening frame, losing it three times. The first turnover was costly, as moments later, Tigers QB Tywan Watson rumbled 90 yards for a TD and an early 6-0 lead.
The teams traded fumbles, but after a 29-yard Jack Korber run, Chiefs QB Paul Bentz coughed it up on the Hempstead 30. A Paul Dilena sack ended the drive, and in the second quarter, things started to turn around for the Chiefs.
John Wood recovered Watson's fumble, and on the very next play, Bentz hit Craig Berge on a quick out, and the junior receiver took over, running 70 yards for the score.
"We were looking for anything, because every time we got something going, we had some sort of a turnover," said Chiefs coach Kevin Shippos. "That play kind of sparked us, but we didn't finish the half the way we should have, but in the second half we came out and played well."
A Bentz 5-yard TD run made it 14-6 at the half, and everything came together for Massapequa in the third. Bentz scored on a 10-yard run, then after a fumble recovery deep in Hempstead territory, Korber scored from one yard out. Minutes later, it was Korber again from four yards out, and just like that it was 35-6.
"It was a tale of two different halves, [it] was a very, very sloppy, uncharacteristic first half for us," Shippos said. "I challenged them at halftime on how they wanted to play the next 24 minutes, and they answered."
Kevin Wasson capped the Massapequa day with a 10-yard TD run in the 4th, and homecoming day turned out to be a successful one, as the Chiefs came away with a big conference win, especially with two tough games coming up against East Meadow and Farmingdale.
"I tell them every game here on in is a playoff type game," Shippos said. "They've got to come ready to work, if they want to take it all, it's right there in front of them, they've just got to want it."
The Chiefs' QB echoes his coach's sentiments.
"I think we're overall heading in the right direction, we came out a little flat and sloppy, but we'll pick it up this week," Bentz said.