Garden City's longtime domination of Wantagh continues, but the degree of difficulty is getting higher each year.
It's hard to imagine any of the 17 consecutive victories by the Trojans over the Warriors since 1975 were any harder than this one. Garden City turned the ball over five times, including a big one with four minutes left, but a stout defense and gritty quarterback Brett Stewart produced a 14-12 victory Friday night in a Nassau II semifinal at Hofstra's Shuart Stadium.
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Garden City (9-1) will play Carey (10-0) for the county title Friday at 7 p.m. at Hofstra
Stewart ran for a touchdown in the second quarter and hit Brian Colamussi from 7 yards in the third quarter to put the Trojans ahead 14-6. Wantagh took a first-quarter lead on quarterback Stephen Killard's 17-yard pass to Dan Devine.
In the fourth quarter, Wantagh (7-3) drove 60 yards in eight plays and scored on Peter Brasile's 7-yard run with 7:19 left. But Liam Byrnes pressured Killard's pass on the two-point conversion.
The drama did not end there. Stewart made a tough 10-yard run on third-and-9 for what appeared to be a huge first down. But on the next play, Wantagh's Chris Burke made his second fumble recovery.
After two runs by Brasile, the Trojans' Jack Reina recovered a bad snap with 4:13 left.
Stewart carried five times as Garden City moved to its own 46. On fourth-and-1, Stewart began in the shotgun but raced behind the center, apparently drawing Wantagh offside. Officials ruled illegal motion and the Trojans had to punt.
Stewart delivered there, too, getting a good bounce to the Wantagh 8 with 1:18 left. Killard completed a 13-yard pass to Corey Sachs that brought the Warriors to their own 40 but on the next play, Brian Goepfert sacked Killard, effectively ending the game.