This was Ryan Rielly's team. For Glenn to win its first Long Island football championship, he would have to play a huge role.
And did he lead the way. The elusive Rielly amassed 306 all-purpose yards, rushed for three touchdowns and threw for another as Glenn beat Seaford, 28-7, to capture the Long Island Class IV title before a crowd of more than 2,800 Saturday at Stony Brook's LaValle Stadium.
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"This was my team, but I didn't do all the dirty work," said Rielly, who had a Long Island-record 3,536 all-purpose yards this year. "My ability to get into space and do the scoring is a result of all the hard work on the offensive line. Those guys and a great defense won us the championship."
Rielly's sincerity will go a long way in the Glenn locker room because of his appreciation for his teammates. But it was his vision, fantastic running ability and precision passing that turned the trick in earning Glenn its first LIC title.
"He has 'it,' whatever 'it' is," Glenn coach Dave Shanahan said. "He's a high-academic kid who understands what he's looking at from the quarterback position. He checks down and makes great decisions on the field. His slight adjustments turn regular plays into game-changing ones."
Glenn (12-0) finished as the only unbeaten public school on Long Island. The loss ended Seaford's winning streak at 23, the longest on Long Island.
"We all know they have a great player. He gets enough publicity," Seaford coach Rob Perpall said.
Rielly earned it again, torching Seaford for 250 yards and three TDs on 32 carries. He also completed 6 of 10 passes for 56 yards and a TD. He either ran or passed on 42 of 43 offensive plays and accounted for 306 of the team's 316 total yards.
"He's an offensive scoring machine," Glenn linebacker Joe Giaramita said. "He completely takes games over for us."
Seaford (11-1) opened the scoring with a 19-play, 74-yard drive that began late in the first quarter and lasted deep into the second. The march used 9:48 and featured one pass play, a 10-yard completion from Joe Kirincic to Brian Gilbert at the Glenn 5. Justin Buckley scored two plays later on a 1-yard run. Dan Arena's kick made it 7-0 with 3:41 left in the half.
But Rielly drove the Knights 63 yards in 15 plays and hit Kevin Massa with a 10-yard TD pass with 14 seconds left. Greg Orkiszewski's kick tied it at 7.
"We were down 14-0 last week against Babylon and came back," Rielly said. "I wasn't worried because we have a nice spread offense and we're up-tempo. But it was so important to score before the half ended because they were slowing us down. That was the turning point in the game."
Glenn opened the second half with a nine-play, 65-yard TD drive. Rielly's 1-yard run and Orkiszewski's kick made it 14-7. Rielly rushed seven times for 54 yards and completed an 11-yard pass to Nick Wagner.
"He's such a good runner, a dual threat," Seaford senior linebacker John Troisi said. "We were well-prepared and played a good first half."
But the second half belonged to Rielly. He rushed seven times for 63 yards in an eight-play, 73-yard scoring march, with his 9-yard run around left end making it 21-7 with 11:55 left. He added a 3-yard touchdown run with 2:46 remaining.
"This is the pinnacle for Glenn football and our families," Shanahan said. "Our line was great and we played a heck of a defense. Coach [Fred] Fusaro did a great job, and it's just so exciting and I'm soaking it all in."