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Class IV Long Island Championship primer: Roosevelt vs. Babylon

Roosevelt's Marquell Saunders returns a punt 66 yards

Roosevelt's Marquell Saunders returns a punt 66 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter. (Nov. 25, 2012) (Credit: James Escher)

Babylon and Roosevelt are Class IV royalty, as each has won four Long Island championships.

They will be meeting in the title game for the fourth time on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. at Stony Brook’s LaValle Stadium in the last public school game of the 2012 season, a season that was extended a week because of superstorm Sandy.

In their prior LIC matchups, Babylon survived, 18-12, in overtime in 1997; Roosevelt triumphed, 28-12, in 2001, and Babylon won another close one, 22-15, in 2004.

Both teams feature high-powered offenses for their 2012 clash. The Panthers (11-0) average 38 points per game while the Rough Riders score at a 35-point clip. Babylon features more balance, with quarterback Nick Santorelli a run-pass threat, Jake Carlock a game-breaking receiver and Eric Schweitzer a potent rusher. Roosevelt counters with a strong running game led by the explosive Johnnie Akins, who has rushed for 527 yards in three playoff games.

Each team as a kick-return/deep threat. For Babylon, it’s Carlock (four TD catches, four TD returns) and for Roosevelt, it’s Marquell Saunders (70- and 72-yard TD receptions in the playoffs plus an 86-yard punt return).

And both teams don’t want you to forget their defenses. Babylon, in particular, is very stingy, allowing only 8.6 ppg, led by Carlock (8 interceptions) and linemen Tyler Christiansen and Brian LosKamp. Roosevelt allows only 10.2 ppg, led by defensive Rob Hansen and linebacker Ray Jones.