Connor Gunn didn’t pad the stat sheet on Friday night, but he helped make sure his teammates did.
The Garden City right guard led a dominant performance by the Trojans’ offensive line as the team rolled to a 43-13 victory over Carey in the Nassau II championship at Hofstra. Gunn and his fellow linemen opened up running lanes and held strong up front, giving Garden City’s offense more than enough time to work.
“We’re confident any time we get the ball,” Gunn said. “Trevor [Yeboah-Kodie], Justin [Coppola] or Colin [Hart], they can all make something happen. So we have to make sure they do.”
The offensive line - led by Gunn, Christian Sullivan, Matt McGovern, Christian Holloway and Billy Kephart - ensured that the playmakers got the spotlight for Garden City (11-0), which won its 35th in a row. The team scored on its first five possessions, before kneeling out the sixth heading into halftime, and racked up 302 yards of offense in the first half.
“They did a great job,” coach Dave Ettinger said. “Our philosophy with the athletes that we have, is that if we can get a [player on a player] and let them make plays, we can be successful.”
The key for the Garden City offense was getting the right position and making sure that everyone on the defensive line was accounted for. Carey defenders couldn’t get a pass rush going as the O-line got low and pushed forward on every block.
“It’s a battle,” said Sullivan, a right tackle. “But we deal with it every game and we love it. We know we have to work hard and that’s what we did here.”
As far as the offensive line was concerned, it was a picture-perfect performance.
Garden City finished with 500 yards on 65 plays, including 411 combined yards from its three big-name stars, and held the ball for just over 30 minutes. It was another win and another county title and, now, the Trojans’ offensive line has its sights set on a third straight Long Island Championship, ready to block anyone who gets in the way.
“This was a fight,” Gunn said. “But we’ve got another county title and we get to keep going.”