Garden City, ranked No. 1 in Newsday's final large-schools poll with a 12-0 record and a Long Island Class II championship, earned another honor last night, winning the Rutgers Cup as the outstanding Nassau County football team of 2009.
Seaford, also 12-0 and L.I. Class IV champion, was second in the voting of Nassau coaches, followed by Class I champion Freeport (10-2) and Class III runner-up Lawrence (9-3). The announcement was made at the annual Nassau Gridiron Dinner at Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury.
This is the fourth Rutgers Cup for Garden City, all under the reign of coach Tom Flatley, who just completed his 25th season. The Trojans also won the award in 1992, 1998 and 2005.
"I wouldn't have come back if I didn't think we had something special," Flatley said after last Friday's 9-6 LIC victory over North Babylon at Hofstra.
Most special this season was the Trojans' defense. They opened with five straight shutouts, allowed a field goal to Long Beach in Week 6 then finished the regular season with two shutouts. Garden City had two shutouts in the playoffs, during which it allowed its only touchdowns of the season.
In his typical no-nonsense style, Flatley saluted his players last night. "Thanks men," he said.