For the fifth time in school history and the first time since 2009, Garden City won the Rutgers Cup as Nassau County’s most outstanding football team after a 12-0 season that culminated with a 13-6 victory over Half Hollows Hills West in the Long Island Class II championship game on Nov. 27.
The Trojans earned 114 points from the county coaches, outpointing two other 2016 Long Island champions in a very close vote. Class III winner Wantagh had 110 points and Class I champ Freeport totaled 76. The Cup was presented Wednesday night at the football awards dinner in Woodbury.
This is the first Rutgers Cup for second-year coach Dave Ettinger, a longtime assistant to Nassau County high school sports Hall of Fame coach Tom Flatley, who retired after the 2014 season with 264 wins and four Rutgers Cups. Ettinger, along with Wantagh’s Keith Sachs, were named Newsday’s coaches of the year.
Ettinger’s squad allowed only 7.3 points per game, led by defensive end Andrew DeSantis and defensive back Chris Mixon, both of whom earned first-team Newsday All-Long Island honors. The Trojans posted four shutouts.
The LIC was the closest game for Garden City, which averaged 37 points per game. In fact, GC’s only other tight game was a 28-12 victory over Carey in Week 3. But the Trojans dominated the Seahawks in a county final rematch, 42-14.
Against Hills West, which also averaged 37 points per game, Garden City’s swarming defense limited the Colts to 34 yards of total offense in the first half. Billy Rousakis kicked two field goals and an extra point and Mixon scored on a 2-yard run to account for the Trojans’ points.