You could see Dan Plant literally think on his feet as he scrambled, stopped and then took off again. The senior quarterback improvised the Blue Devils back into the playoff equation on Saturday.
Plant directed three touchdown drives to knock off , 24-14, in a Suffolk Division III football game in Huntington. Plant scored the clincher – a 28-yard breakaway through the heart of the Kingsmen defense – to put the Blue Devils up 24-7 with 5:33 remaining in the third.
Plant completed 4 of 9 passes for 107 yards and ran for 127 yards on 17 carries. He also set up Huntington’s first two touchdowns – part of a 17-point second quarter – with a pair of big plays. Plant hit Tyler Greenhill on a 40-yard pass down to the Kingsmen 9-yard-line on the first and broke a 21-yard run on the next.
All of which translated into real momentum for the Blue Devils (3-3) after an 0-2 start to the season. After a slew of injuries, Coach Steve Muller said he could feel the change at practice this week and it carried over into the game.
Both teams wore pink accents in honor of month.
Huntington also won .
Heros: The Blue Devils’ running game dictated the outcome, controlling the tempo while racking up 304 yards. While Plant led the way, senior Quran Carter provided the wow factor with breathtaking runs – even one breakaway burst without the benefit of a shoe. Carter finished with 87 yards on 12 carries, including a 24-yard scoring run. After missing a game due to injury, Trayvon Toney returned with 57 tough yards on 13 carries.
Turning Point: Kings Park senior running back Dominic Montemurro opened the game with back-to-back carries for 12 yards. Then the Blue Devils put up road blocks in the running lanes. Montemurro finished the day with 31 yards on 15 carries. Kings Park managed just 37 yards on the ground.
Quotable: “Ever since last week we’re treating every game like a playoff game,” Plant said. “We started off with two losses. So it’s playoffs from here on out.”
Bottom Line: Two weeks remain in the regular season. Huntington faces Islip and rival Harborfields at home while Kings Park (3-3) plays Rocky Point and then hits the road to face defending champ Sayville. A 4-4 mark should get each into the eight-team playoffs.
But Huntington wants to win out and earn a quarterfinal home game. There’s still work to be done. Kings Park quarterback Joe Guercio carved up the Blue Devils’ secondary for 117 passing yards and was sacked just once. So Huntington needs to improve its pass rush or a better passing team will pose a real threat.
Key Stat: When senior cornerback / wideout Jared Thornbourne exited just 2:57 into the game with a left ankle injury, he became the ninth Huntington starter to miss time this season. Thornbourne spent the rest of the game on crutches after getting injured returning a punt.
Who’s Next: Islip @ Huntington, Saturday, 2 p.m. It’s homecoming for the Blue Devils.
Suffolk Division III Football
Teams....................1.....2.....3.....4 – F
Kings Park..............0.....7.....0.....7 – 14
Huntington..............0...17.....7.....0 – 24
H – Nelson 1 run (Reilly kick)
H – Carter 24 run (Reilly kick)
H – Reilly FG 20
KP – Gurlides 29 pass from Guercio (Going kick)
H – Plant 28 run (Reilly kick)
K – Toscano 1 run (Going kick)