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Funn, Bitzer lead Riverhead to Suffolk II crown

Riverhead's Quinn Funn completes a reception against North

Riverhead's Quinn Funn completes a reception against North Babylon in the Suffolk Division II football final at LaValle Stadium. (Nov. 25, 2012) Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Well, that was fun.

Make that Funn, as in Quinn Funn, the Riverhead wide receiver who teamed with his sidekick, quarterback Ryan Bitzer, to lead the Blue Waves to a 52-20 victory over North Babylon Sunday night at Stony Brook's LaValle Stadium in the Suffolk II championship game.

Riverhead (9-2) will face Garden City at noon Saturday at Stony Brook for the Long Island Class II title. North Babylon finished 8-3.

"It's the dream," said Bitzer, who completed 13 of 19 passes for 291 yards and four touchdowns, three to Funn, who also returned a fumble 4 yards for a score in the first quarter. "Ever since eighth grade, when Quinn and I played on a 6-0 [middle school] team, we wanted to do something special. Leave a legacy."

Bitzer and Funn (seven receptions for 153 yards, including touchdowns of 21, 29 and 6) attended the 2008 Long Island Championships at Stony Brook, when Miguel Maysonet led the Blue Waves to an unbeaten season and the school's only Long Island championship.

"That motivated us. We want to do what Miguel did," Funn said.

Maysonet, the senior star for Stony Brook University, was in the stands cheering for his old school. He must have enjoyed an early sequence. Funn scored on a 21-yard strike from Bitzer; then Funn scooped and scored from 4 yards on a North Babylon fumble 48 seconds later.

Jeffrey Pittman (five catches, 128 yards) joined the Funn when he caught a deep sideline pass from Bitzer early in the second quarter, made a shake-and-bake move to break free and completed a 60-yard scoring play for a 21-6 lead. Jeremiah Cheatom added balance to the offense with 94 yards on 22 carries.

There was a "cringe" moment for Maysonet and the rest of Blue Wave Nation later in the second quarter. Funn caught a deep pass from Bitzer and appeared to have a sure touchdown, but slowed to a saunter and was tackled at the 1. It was a 73-yard play, and the drive ended with Bitzer scoring from the 3 on a bootleg.

"I was a little too excited. I was showing off a little," Funn said. After that, though, he was all business, grabbing a 6-yard dart from Bitzer early in the fourth to make it 45-20.

Not every completion between the two seniors is exactly as called by Riverhead coach Leif Shay. "Those two guys are great at extending plays," Shay said. "They communicate with each other using body language. I think they are two of the best skill players on Long Island. They spend hours after practice, sometimes working on routes until it's dark."

In his postgame speech to his players, Shay praised them but reminded: "We are not done yet. There's one more game." To which several players responded, "We're hungry, Coach."

It was a Funn night all around.

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