How do you respond to being thrust into a new role, on the biggest stage? For Blake Cascadden, the answer is rushing for 144 yards and two touchdowns to lead your team to a third straight Long Island championship.
Cascadden’s only offensive snaps of the season came at wide receiver for Garden City, but when running back Michael Berkery suffered a broken ankle in the county championship game and Aidan Considine became hampered by his own ankle injury, the Trojans turned to Cascadden.
“The coaches and players were constantly reminding me that they’re putting me back there because they believe in me,” Cascadden said. “They knew I had the skill to get it done back there and their belief in me translated to belief in myself.”
Cascadden had touchdown runs of 32 and 45 yards in the third quarter as Garden City cruised to a 38-7 win over North Babylon. The junior also made an impact on defense, picking up four tackles, including one for a loss.
“He’s a high-level athlete, a Division I lacrosse recruit and defensively he’s been in a lot of different spots, performing well,” Garden City coach Dave Ettinger said. “Being down at the running back position, he definitely was the logical choice for us to go to.”
The Dartmouth commit’s stellar Long Island championship performance wasn’t the only time this year he has helped Garden City win a title. The midfielder helped Garden City win its second consecutive state Class B boys lacrosse crown back in June.
“It’s been absolutely unreal, each time you win it feels different,” Cascadden said. “Every time it feels like one of the best days of your life, the euphoria is just unbelievable.”
Cascadden continues to build an impressive career at Garden City, following in the footsteps of his brother Jack, who won the Thorpe award and a Long Island title in 2021.
“It feels great, because I know how talented he was and that’s what people think of when they see the name on the back of my jersey,” Cascadden said. “It’s satisfying to perform how I did in the LIC. I haven’t had much of a chance to show what I can do offensively, so it was nice to get a message across of what I'm capable of.”
After opening eyes to his offensive potential, Cascadden will have one more season of football left to showcase his skills.
“We’ll have Berkery back next season, but he joked that he might not have his job back next season,” Ettinger said. “Knowing that Blake can carry the ball and make plays, certainly betters our chance of winning next year.