Bayport-Blue Point head coach Mike Zafonte accepts the Rutgers Cup at...

Bayport-Blue Point head coach Mike Zafonte accepts the Rutgers Cup at the Suffolk football awards dinner on Monday in Hauppauge. Credit: Dawn McCormick

The Bayport-Blue Point football team rode an impressive run to consecutive Long Island Class IV championships. The Phantoms extended Suffolk’s longest winning streak to 23 games with a 42-20 win over Seaford for the Long Island Class IV crown.

The one accolade that eluded the Phantoms was the coveted Rutgers Trophy, presented to Suffolk’s best team. Until now.

For the first time, Bayport-Blue Point earned the Rutgers Trophy, presented to Suffolk’s best high school football team.

Bayport-Blue Point garnered 27 first-place votes and totaled 115 total points. East Islip, the Long Island Class II champions, after a 19-14 win over South Side, had 18 first-place votes and 102 total points. East Islip had won the Rutgers Trophy six times, the last one coming in 1982.

Floyd grabbed one first-place vote and 43 points to finish third in the voting.

“It’s one of the closest votes we’ve had in recent memory,” said Jack LaPrarie, a Rutgers Trophy committee member. “We’re proud to present the trophy to Bayport-Blue Point, which has had two great seasons in a row. And they finished second in the voting last season after winning the LIC. So, this is a fitting end to a wonderful two-year run.”

The Phantoms finished 11-0 and captured the school’s first LIC in 2022 with a 35-7 win over North Shore. But they came up just short of the program’s first Rutgers Trophy when they were edged for the prestigious award by Sayville, the Long Island Class III champion.

“This is just great for our players, the coaches and our entire community,” said Bayport-Blue Point coach Mike Zafonte. “We are so proud of how far we’ve come as a program and this is the icing on the past two years.”

Zafonte was also voted the Suffolk Coach of the Year by his peers by a 22-14 margin.

“We were out to prove that we could be just as dominant as we were last year,” said Bayport-Blue Point halfback Dan Aiello. “We don’t have just a few star players, we’re a complete team. This is a great honor.”

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