Lawrence's Capobianco and Co. just perfect
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All season long, the Lawrence offense ran like a finely tuned luxury car with all the accessories. And quarterback Joe Capobianco got to sit behind the steering wheel in the plush leather seat and push all the buttons.
Want some power and acceleration on the curves? Hand off to running backs Tyler or Jordan Fredericks and watch them motor. Need speed on the straightaway? Throw it to wide receiver Eddie Robinson, zipping into open space, and watch him run after the catch.
And always, Capobianco was there to boldly steer the Golden Tornadoes down a highway that led to Hempstead and Hofstra's Shuart Stadium, site of the Nassau III semifinals and final, and also the Class III Long Island championship game.
That's how you get to be 12-0, the only unbeaten team in Nassau County.
"I'm always confident with these guys," said Capobianco, who set the Long Island single-season record with 38 touchdown passes, and threw for 2,609 yards. Capobianco completed 80 percent of his passes with only three interceptions.
With 67 TD passes in two seasons, the junior should top the career mark of 73 set in 2011 by Sayville's Steven Ferreira. No wonder Lawrence coach Joe Martillotti called him: "The best quarterback on Long Island. He reads the entire field and when he has to, he runs like a fullback. He's a tough, special kid."
So was Robinson, who also set a Long Island single-season record with 19 touchdown receptions. "Our offense was awesome. I love watching what we do," Robinson said.
He was also dynamic on defense as a cornerback, scoring on a 30-yard pick-six to help the Golden Tornadoes slip past Sayville, 21-20, in a riveting Long Island championship game that put a premium on defense a year after the same two teams played for the LIC with the Golden Flashes winning that one, 78-61.
"To finish it off with defense made it special," Martillotti said. "All year, even though we knew we had a great offense, our priority was defense. We went back to basics -- a 4-3 alignment -- and it was a matter of finding the right guys to fit it."
Two of those who fit perfectly in a starting defensive unit that didn't give up a point until late in the season were linebacker Simon Jones and lineman John Perrone. "They were studs in every game," Martillotti said.
Jones' brother, Elijah, and Tyler Fredericks also were effective linebackers and the D-line got a lift from Florian Capobianco and Melik Mavruk. There were four sets of brothers who started for Lawrence on both sides of the ball.
"Made for some friendly competition in practice between the offense and defense," Martillotti said.
Until the LIC, it was hard for the Golden Tornadoes' defense to get much recognition because the offense set the Long Island record for points with 581.
"We could do a lot of different things with the pass and the run. This is a special group of skills guys," Martillotti said. "They played with a ridiculous swagger all year. It was fun to call the plays."
Like driving a luxury car with the top down while on cruise control.