Garden City won its record seventh Long Island championship on Friday night with a 24-6 victory over North Babylon and played in the Long Island Championships for the 15th time in the event’s 26 years. The Trojans earned their second consecutive Long Island Class II title.
“It feels great,” said junior quarterback Colin Hart, who was 4-for-5 passing for 104 yards and a touchdown. “[Running back Trevor Yeboah-Kodie] did a lot of the work in the playoffs. It feels great going back-to-back for the first time.”
It was Garden City’s third victory over North Babylon in five meetings. The Trojans also defeated the Bulldogs in 2009 and 2000.
Garden City hopes to win a third consecutive title in 2018 and join Shoreham-Wading River, Lawrence and Floyd as the only programs to pull off a three-peat. Shoreham accomplished the feat last season.
“Of course it’s on our mind,” Hart said. “It would be amazing if we could do that. Obviously, we’re gonna try for that next year and we’ll definitely work over the summer.”
Garden City defense bends, doesn’t break
Though the Trojans allowed only six points in the first half and led by a point at halftime, coach Dave Ettinger said his defensive unit was not pleased in the locker room after surrendering 206 yards.
“Our kids were frustrated at the half,” he said. “It was kind of a down locker room, and it felt kind of like we were losing. But we told them to stick with the plan.”
The Garden City defenders buckled down in the second half, giving up 104 yards and shutting out North Babylon in the final 24 minutes.
The key play came from Yeboah-Kodie, who made an acrobatic interception, barely maintained his balance and returned it 92 yards with 6:40 remaining to widen Garden City’s advantage to 18. “I was very surprised to keep my balance,” he said.
Final game for Estrella, Sobotker
North Babylon’s loss was the last time senior running backs David Estrella and Anthony Sobotker donned Bulldogs uniforms for a game. Estrella finished with 157 yards on 29 carries and Sobotker had 21 yards on five carries.
“This is a great program,” Estrella said. “This jersey especially, it’s an honor to wear this jersey.”
Estrella blocked a punt with just under two minutes remaining. “I knew we had a short amount of time left and I wanted to leave everything out on the field,” he said.
“I’m going to miss this so much,” Sobotker said. “It was the best thing.”