East Islip RB Ryan Parker takes the handoff to the...

East Islip RB Ryan Parker takes the handoff to the outside for a big gain against Westhampton in the Suffolk III semifinals on Friday, Nov. 10, 2023. Credit: George A Faella

Ryan Parker is used to spending time in the backfield as a running back, but it felt as if he spent just as much time there as a linebacker Friday night in East Islip.

No. 2 East Islip defeated No. 3 Westhampton, 17-0, in a Suffolk III semifinal and has allowed 40 points  in its last five games. Parker is a big reason why. He tallied four tackles for loss that helped his team preserve the shutout.

“We watched film during the week, so when I get to the game, I’m just [ready],” Parker said. “I read my guards, read the pulls, use my speed to my advantage and just keep going.”

Parker also logged several hits on quarterback William Gambino, including one on Westhampton’s final drive of the game that led to an interception by Andrew Cooper.

“He’s been one of our best players all year, offensively and defensively,” coach Sal Ciampi Jr. said. “He’s got a great nose for the ball, he’s a great athlete. Our kids defensively were awesome tonight.”

East Islip (8-2) will play the winner of Saturday's semifinal between No. 1 Sayville and No. 4 Half Hollow Hills West in the Suffolk III championship game at 4 p.m. on Friday at Stony Brook University.

East Islip's highlights began when Thomas Costarelli connected with Matt McIntee on third-and-10 from the EI 17. What looked to be a solid conversion suddenly turned into an 83-yard touchdown when McIntee outran the entire Westhampton defense down the left sideline.

When East Islip got the ball back, it took just four plays to score again as Matt Ferraro turned an end-around into a 40-yard score.

“Normally we are the type of team that is physical and just going to run it at you,” Ciampi said. “So when teams like Westhampton completely sell out and defend the run well, we still have some stuff to move the ball offensively.”

Parker and the East Islip defense continued its dominance in the second half, forcing four negative plays and allowing only two first downs.

Westhampton finished the season with a 6-4 record.


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