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Garden City's Colin Hart a double-threat in Empire Challenge

Colin Hart of Garden City makes a cut

Colin Hart of Garden City makes a cut during the 24th Empire Challenge football game between the top seniors of Long Island and the best of New York City at Hofstra on Friday. Photo Credit: Peter Frutkoff

Colin Hart is used to throwing passes, not catching them.

The Garden City quarterback passed for 1,166 yards and 16 touchdowns in his senior season en route to the Trojans winning their third straight Long Island Class II title.

Despite the gaudy numbers, St. Anthony’s Greg Campisi and Kellenberg’s Matt Sluka were named the two quarterbacks for Long Island before Friday’s 24th annual Empire Challenge football game at Hofstra, so Hart thought he’d try a different position.

“Gregg and Matt are really good QBs, so I didn’t even think I was going to play in the first place,” Hart said. “[Garden City coach Dave Ettinger] asked me a couple months ago if I wanted to play defensive back or wide receiver, and I said I’m going to stick with the offensive side.”

Although he was lined up on the outside at wide receiver, he quickly found himself back in his familiar role.

With 12 minutes remaining in the first half and Long Island facing a fourth-and-8, Hart took the ball from Sluka on an end-around, scrambled to his right and found Lawrence’s Jordan Alexander downfield for a 22-yard completion. Long Island scored on the next play to take a 14-0 lead.

With just under two minutes remaining in the half, Hart completed the second part of a double-pass to Oceanside’s Jake Lazzaro for 38 yards. Long Island again scored on the ensuing play to go ahead 27-6.

Pecorella hits 35-yarder

Kicking in the Empire Challenge has been a dream of Chaminade’s Anthony Pecorella, and when the opportunity presented itself, he took full advantage.

“It’s amazing because ever since I was a little kid, I’ve dreamed of playing in this game,” said Pecorella, who drilled a 35-yard field goal as time expired in the first half to make the score 30-6.

He will punt for the University of Maryland in the fall.

Said Pecorella: “I loved playing high school football and I’m leaving for Maryland in two days, so this was a nice farewell.”

Long Island ‘D’ puts clamps on NYC

The Long Island defense held the high-powered New York City offense to 225 yards.

Massapequa’s Marco Musso led the way with a sack, forced fumble, and six tackles (three for a loss). 

Gerald Filardi Jr. (Half Hollow Hills West) added 3.5 tackles and Aidan Kaler (Sayville) and Jordan Jackson (Freeport) both had three tackles. Commack's Joey Slackman had a sack and JJ Laap (Ward Melville) intercepted a pass late in the fourth quarter.

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