Garden City had waited two long years for another shot at knocking off Carey in the Nassau II final.
In Saturday’s championship matchup, it seemed apparent.
Especially for Chris Mixon.
The junior running back put on yet another show out of the backfield as the top-seeded Trojans beat second-seeded Carey, 42-14, at Hofstra University’s Shuart Stadium to win the Nassau II title for the first time since 2012.
Mixon rushed for 166 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries for Garden City (11-0), which fell to the Seahawks in the 2013 and 2014 county championship games. He believed those losses made this win even sweeter.
“There was kind of a revenge factor there,” Mixon said. “We lost to them twice and kind of wanted to get back at them.”
Mixon gave the Trojans a 28-7 lead with a 9-yard touchdown run early in the third quarter. He also tied the score in the first quarter with a 2-yard touchdown run.
Four rushers totaled 392 yards for Garden City, which erased a 7-0 deficit with 28 unanswered points.
“We’re pumped, we’re amped,” Mixon said of winning the county title. “The past three years, we’ve came and lost, and our goal was to get back and win one. It’s an inexplicable feeling.”
Garden City will take on Half Hollow Hills West in the Long Island Class II championship game at Stony Brook University’s LaValle Stadium at noon on Nov. 27.
“Our main focus all year was to win our county,” Garden City coach coach Dave Ettinger said. “And anything after that is gravy. There are always bigger, stronger, more physical teams.
“We’ve always gone out there and tried to prepare as best as we can and give it our best shot and see what happens.”
A 1-yard touchdown run by Dan Conte with about seven minutes remaining in the first quarter gave Carey (8-3) a 7-0 lead, but Harry Blair’s 6-yard touchdown reception on a play-action pass from Colin Hart in the second quarter produced a 14-7 lead for Garden City.
Jack Bill broke through the middle for an 86-yard touchdown that gave the Trojans a 20-7 lead midway through the second quarter.
“The defensive end flew upfield, I pulled the ball and broke a tackle and ran as fast as I could,” Bill said.
Bill’s explosive burst to the end zone came as somewhat of a surprise after he initially stumbled while rumbling through the defensive line.
“I was hoping I wouldn’t go down,” he said.
Bill also scored on a 1-yard run with 10 minutes to go. He finished with six carries for 110 yards and two touchdowns.
The Trojans allowed 253 total yards.
“They’ve been doing it all year,” Ettinger said of the defense. “I really wasn’t surprised. Coach Finnell, our defensive coordinator, spends hours and hours getting them ready.”
Ettinger insisted that the 2014 and 2013 disappointments inflicted by Carey played no factor in Saturday’s game.
“That doesn’t matter,” he said. “We respect them. They’re very well-coached. Mike Stanley does a great job. I don’t care who it was against. I’m just happy we won.”