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Garden City crushes East Meadow for 41st win in row

Jack Cascadden of Garden City tackles East Meadow's

Jack Cascadden of Garden City tackles East Meadow's quarterback, James Saragossi as he closes in on the end zone during a Nassau High School Conference II football game in Garden City on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. Credit: Dawn McCormick

41 and counting!

The Garden City football team continues to roll through Class II opponents. Garden City extended its Nassau record to 41 consecutive wins Saturday with a 41-0 win over East Meadow before a home crowd of more than 1,100 in a Nassau Conference II game.

The Garden City defense limited East Meadow to 44 first-half yards and three first downs while forcing three turnovers for a 27-0 halftime lead. The teams hadn’t played each other since 1990.

Garden City improved to 5-0 and plays at Mepham, Saturday at 3 p.m. A 42nd straight win would give Garden City a share of Long Island’s longest win streak, set by Floyd from 2005-2008.

“We executed the defensive game plan to perfection,” said Garden City coach Dave Ettinger. “Our defensive coordinator Steve Finnell drew up a great game plan and our players followed the script. It’s all about the work during the week.”

And speaking of the win streak, “we don’t talk about it,” Ettinger said. “We focus one week at a time and play the team in front of us.”

That laser-like focus has enabled the Trojans to march uninhibited through opponents for more than three years.

“We have different guys having great games every week,” said Garden City halfback Ford Carney, who carried five times for 60 yards and two first-half scores. “This week it was Jack Cascadden, who played an unbelievable game. We win these games week after week because of our preparation in practice. Our coaches have us totally prepared for anything.”

The Trojans defense, which has allowed only 14 points this season, put the offense in excellent field position throughout the first half.  Two of Garden City’s four first-half scores were set up by turnovers.

The opening score came after a six-play, 58-yard drive. Quarterback Holden Overbeck rolled right, looking downfield and found James Crowley sprinting left to right across the face of the defense. Overbeck hit him in stride and Crowley took it 26 yards to the end zone for the score. Chase Gardi added the extra-point kick for the 7-0 lead with 2:10 left in the first quarter.

On the next play from scrimmage, Cascadden came from his linebacker position and burst into the backfield to strip East Meadow quarterback James Saragrossi at the 27-yard line. Teammate Brendan Smith recovered for the Trojans.

Four plays later, Ford Carney scored on a 2-yard run around right end for the 14-0 lead with 11:55 left in the half.

“It’s all about opportunity and making big plays,” said Garden City middle linebacker Christian Sullivan. “It’s always the goal of our defense to set up our offense in good field position.”

Garden City extended the lead with Carney’s second 2-yard scoring run to make it 21-0 with 6:46 left in the half. It was the third straight possession for a score for the Trojans.

On the next play from scrimmage, Saragrossi was hammered and fumbled in the backfield. Sullivan scooped the ball and appeared to be off for the defensive touchdown but tripped over Saragrossi at the 32.

“I thought I was gone for the touchdown,” Sullivan laughed. “He must have stuck his foot out.”

The Trojans capitalized on the turnover when halfback Pierce Archer scored on a 3-yard run with 3:29 left to make it 27-0.

East Meadow (3-2), aided by a 15-yard pass interference penalty, moved the ball to the Trojans 26 with five seconds left in the half. Crowley intercepted a long pass on the final play to halt the Jets deepest drive.

It was more of the same in the second half as Archer added his second touchdown, this one from 14 yards in the third quarter and halfback Brian Wood scored on a 4-yard fourth quarter run for the final margin.

The Garden City first-team defense came off the field late in the third quarter, having allowed 51 yards on 28 plays.

"We’re winning games,” said Overbeck. “And having fun doing it.”

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