Babylon wins Rutgers Trophy as top team in Suffolk

Players and coaches from Babylon's varsity football team

Players and coaches from Babylon's varsity football team pose for a portrait after winning the Rutgers Trophy. (Dec. 3, 2012) (Credit: James Escher)

Who says the small schools don't get any respect? For the second time in three years, a team from the Suffolk division with the smallest enrollment was recognized as the county's top football team.

Babylon finished the school's fourth perfect season with a 12-0 record after a 48-18 thumping of Roosevelt late Saturday night in claiming the Long Island Class IV championship. For their remarkable run to the Long Island crown, the Panthers earned the Rutgers Trophy, given to the most outstanding team in Suffolk.

Babylon tallied 119 voting points to outpace Floyd (86) and Sayville (80) in winning the hardware Monday night at the Suffolk County Football Coaches Association dinner at the Hyatt Regency at Wind Watch in Hauppauge. The Panthers got 32 of 49 first-place votes.

"It's exciting to be recognized by your peers as the best football team in the county," Babylon coach Rick Punzone said. "Our players worked very hard in the offseason and continued to stay focused on our ultimate goal of a Long Island title. It's been a rewarding season watching them grow as a team."

It's Babylon's first Rutgers Trophy in the 84-year history of the school. The Panthers also had the most wins in a single season and scored a school-record 465 points.

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