History of the Class II Long Island Championship
The Long Island Championships, pitting the Nassau and Suffolk champions against each other in each class, began in 1992. Here's a look back at every Class II championship game in the history of the event.
1992: Bellport 8, Garden City 6(Credit: Handout)
Bellport turned a first-quarter interception by Alex Rosario into a 56-yard drive, capped by a 25-yard touchdown run on a play-action fake by quarterback Jim McGowan. The win ended Garden City's 30-game winning streak, which was the longest in New York State at the time. (Pictured: Bellport's Sean Chavious blocks a punt by Garden City's J.J. Coslet.)
1993: Garden City 14, West lslip 9(Credit: Newsday/Jim Peppler)
Tim Glisker scored both touchdowns for the Nassau champion Trojans -- one on a 25-yard pass six seconds into the second quarter and one on a 55-yard interception return 1:53 before halftime. Trailing 14-0, West Islip fought back gamely, but could not get into the end zone in the second half. (Pictured: Matt Fischer of Garden City, left, gets off a pass as Aeron Mirel of Islip moves in to tackle him.)
1994: West Islip 7, Garden City 0 (2 OT)(Credit: Newsday / Paul Bereswill)
In a rematch of the '93 Class II final, Garden City held scoreless the heavily favored "Blue Thunder" during regulation. West Islip's Scott Coppo missed a chip-shot 21-yard field goal that would have won the game in the first overtime. But he redeemed himself, catching a 5-yard touchdown pass in the second overtime that held up as the winner when Garden City failed to score from the 10-yard line.
1995: Bellport 26, Garden City 19(Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams)
Running backs Reggie Berrios and Jamie Thomas and quarterback Rich Palmese used a straightforward rushing attack behind the blocking of Mike Jorgensen, Gary Gallo, Jack Schwartz, Karl Knoth and Greg Ozzimo to become the first team with two Long Island Class II titles.
1996: Division 31, Bellport 28(Credit: Newsday / Michael Ach)
In a game of comebacks, Pat Hegarty booted the game-winning 30-yard field goal with seven seconds left to give Division the title. Defending Class II champion Bellport had rallied from a 21-8 halftime deficit to take a 28-21 lead with 5:24 to go, but Division quarterback Patrick Rock drove his team 83 yards to the tying touchdown. Then, Hegarty intercepted a Damon Weston pass to set his team up for the winning drive.
1997: Bellport 44, Lawrence 12(Credit: Vincent Pugliese)
Playing in their fourth LIC, the Clippers won their third title in convincing fashion after a close first half. Traditionally a run-heavy offense, Bellport got some unexpected help from junior quarterback Craig Bazarewski, who went 5-for-5 for 171 yards with two touchdown throws to Melvin Cullum (pictured). Micah Barnes rushed for 136 yards and William Griffin picked up 123; both scored a pair of TDs.
1998: North Babylon 34, Garden City 0(Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan)
The Bulldogs completed a successful transition from Class III into Class II by winning their second straight Long Island Championship in front of 5,781 fans at Hofstra. North Babylon ground out 319 yards rushing and shut down the Trojans' vaunted passing game, limiting Trojans quarterback Matt Casey to 86 yards. Omar Palmer (pictured) piled up 166 yards and a touchdown to complement Barry Baker's 94 yards and two scores.
1999: North Babylon 38, Hewlett 19(Credit: Bob Mitchell)
North Babylon became the first team with four Long Island titles by winning its third in a row and fourth in five years. Bulldogs running back Omar Palmer led the way, gaining 303 yards (a Long Island record at the time) and five touchdowns on 40 carries before 5,453 at Hofstra Stadium. (Pictured: Hewlett's Mark Wohlstadter.)
2000: Garden City 20, North Babylon 14(Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan)
Dave Kang accounted for 223 yards and passed for two touchdowns to lead Garden City to its second title in seven Long Island Championships appearances, ending North Babylon's three-year reign before 6,000 at Hofstra. Bill Hannan contributed a 13-yard touchdown reception from Kang and added 54 yards rushing, including a scoring run.
2001: Bellport 42, South Side 19(Credit: Newsday / Jiro Ose)
Bellport pounded the South Side front for six touchdowns on the ground and scored 36 second-half points to come away with a 42-19 victory before some 6,300 fans at Hofstra Stadium. Halfbacks Larry Zeiss and Dan Varney both scored a pair of touchdowns for the Clippers, while South Side's Bryant Daniels established a then-Long Island record for single-season yards with 2,241.
2002: North Babylon 36, MacArthur 15(Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan)
Even without star sophomore halfback Jason Gwaltney, who sat out with a fracture in his right knee, North Babylon rolled to its fifth Long Island championship. Senior guard/middle linebacker Larkin Mayberry put the bite in the Bulldogs' ground attack and starred on defense with 17 tackles, one sack and a fumble recovery before a crowd of 2,700 at Stony Brook University's LaValle Stadium.
2003: Garden City 20, Riverhead 0(Credit: Richard Slattery)
A swarming Garden City defense short-circuited the multifaceted game of Riverhead quarterback Ed Wansor and dominated the Blue Waves before a crowd of about 4,500 at Hofstra's Shuart Stadium. The Trojans' "Pain Train" defense recorded seven sacks, including five that could be considered coverage sacks, and an interception. It was Garden City's third Long Island title in a record eight appearances. (Pictured: Garden City's Tom Marino.)
2004: North Babylon 43, Garden City 14(Credit: Newsday / Paul J. Bereswill)
Despite Garden City's best efforts to neutralize Jason Gwaltney, the 6-2, 230 pound senior running back still ran for 237 yards on 40 carries and scored five touchdowns as the Bulldogs won their sixth LI title. The win capped Gwaltney's incomparable career as he established single-season Long Island records with 2,882 yards and 45 touchdowns. His five TDs tied Omar Palmer's LIC then-record.
2005: Bellport 8, Garden City 0(Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan)
Junior halfback Ed Gowins sprinted 74 yards for a second-quarter touchdown and a stifling Bellport defense made the score stand up before 7,500 at Hofstra's Shuart Stadium. It was Bellport's fifth LI crown in six appearances and the third in against Garden City. The Clippers punctuated the perfect season with three straight playoff shutouts, an unprecedented feat since the inception of the LICs in 1992.
2006: Lawrence 28, Bellport 27(Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan)
Quarterback P.J. Preziosa completed 14 of 20 passes for 207 yards and three touchdowns as Lawrence opened a 15-point second-half lead and held on to shock heavily favored Bellport before a crowd of 6,000 at LaValle Stadium. Bellport senior Ed Gowins gained 212 yards on 32 carries and scored three touchdowns in the losing effort. The defeat ended Bellport's winning streak at 21 games.
2007: East Islip 35, Lawrence 7(Credit: Patrick McCarthy)
After East Islip played a picturesque first half, it was never close in the second half as the Redmen beat defending champion Lawrence at Hofstra. Rob Calabrese rushed for 104 yards and went 6-for-10 passing for 82 yards. Tim Moller caught both of Calabrese's touchdown throws and broke loose for a Long Island Championship-record 97-yard touchdown run. Lawrence had a 19-game winning streak snapped.
2008: Riverhead 42, Elmont 6(Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan)
It was a day that showcased the myriad skills of Riverhead halfback Miguel Maysonet, who rushed for 202 of his 251 yards and three of his four touchdowns in the first half as Riverhead built a 35-0 lead. The Blue Waves captured their first Long Island crown in their second appearance.
2009: Garden City 9, North Babylon 6(Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy)
In a game that lived up to its billing as a defensive showdown, a trick play set up the winning score in the fourth quarter. On a third down from his own 8, Garden City's Brian Fischer executed a quick kick that rolled to the North Babylon 24, where it was mistakenly touched by a Bulldogs player and recovered by Garden City's Billy Allen. Four plays later, sophomore Ryan Norton (pictured) kicked a 38-yard field goal on his first attempt of the season.
2010: Bellport 26, Garden City 21(Credit: Kevin P. Coughlin)
With less than two minutes left, the Clippers marched down the field, and Travis Houpe (pictured) capped off the rally with a 3-yard touchdown run with 1:23 left to give Bellport its sixth Long Island Championship.
2011: Newfield 14, Garden City 7(Credit: Kevin P. Coughlin)
Newfield's stingy defense shut down a high throttle Garden City offense in the school's first Long Island Championship game. The winning score came early in the fourth quarter, with Julian Santiago running it in from one yard to take a 14-7 lead. (Pictured: Newfield alum and Super Bowl XXXV winner Rob Burnett congratulates the team.)
2012: Garden City 29, Riverhead 16(Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke)
Garden City quarterback Brett Stewart picked up four total touchdowns to lead the Trojans' 29-16 come-from-behind win over Riverhead in the Long Island Class II championship game at LaValle Stadium. Ed Blatz had seven catches for 140 yards and caught both of Stewart's passing touchdowns. The win marked Garden City's fifth L.I. championship and first since 2009.
2013: Carey 20, Riverhead 6(Credit: James Escher)
Ray Catapano ran for one touchdown and passed for another as Carey completed a perfect season. The Seahawks, who scored all their points in the second quarter, finished 12-0. The Carey defense blanked Riverhead for the first three quarters.
2014: Carey 41, East Islip 7(Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan)
Conor Colasurdo forced a fumble that set up the go-ahead score and returned a punt 57 yards for a third-quarter touchdown to ignite Carey in a 41-7 win over East Islip at Stony Brook's LaValle Stadium.
2015: Newfield 41, MacArthur 33(Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan)
Elijah Riley led Newfield's big-strike offense with two fourth-quarter touchdowns on runs of 8 and 30 yards to help Newfield expand upon a 27-26 lead. He finished with 149 yards on 18 carries and three touchdowns. Newfield had a 27-point second quarter and withstood a 19-point third quarter by MacArthur that trimmed a 20-point deficit to one. It was the first 12-0 season for Newfield.
2016: Garden City 13, Half Hollow Hills West 6(Credit: Daniel De Mato)
Andrew DeSantis and a swarm of teammates held Hills West scoreless for three quarters on the way to a 13-6 win in the Long Island Class II championship game at Stony Brook University's LaValle Stadium. Sophomore Trevor Yeboah-Kodie intercepted a long pass intended for wide receiver Jeff Terry at the Trojans' 25 with 1:15 left to seal the win. Garden City earned its sixth championship in its LIC-record 15th appearance and finished 12-0 for the second time in school history.