East Islip QB Jack Hannigan takes the keeper up the...

East Islip QB Jack Hannigan takes the keeper up the sideline against Hills West in the Suffolk ll final on Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014. Credit: George A. Faella

Jack Hannigan stared at the scoreboard with a look of satisfaction. A moment of solitude allowed him to take in the final score -- East Islip 27, Half Hollow Hills West 14.

Hannigan had waited a year for the opportunity to play in the Suffolk II football final. The quarterback was reduced to a cheerleader last year after suffering a broken fibula and could only watch as his team lost to Riverhead in the county championship game. He vowed this year would be different.

"Worst thing ever, to see my boys lose last year,'' the senior said. "But it motivated us to return and change the outcome.''

Hannigan was a two-way marvel Saturday night. He completed 8 of 12 passes for 140 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another score before more than 2,400 at Stony Brook University's LaValle Stadium. He also had 68 hard inside yards on 26 carries to control the clock and keep the dangerous Hills West offense off the field.

"It was personal tonight,'' Hannigan said. "It was personal for three playoff games for us. We got off slow in the first half and then my O-line dominated the second half.''

East Islip (8-3) -- which will face Carey on Saturday for the Long Island Class II championship -- lost to all three of its playoff opponents during the regular season and became the first team in Suffolk history to avenge all three of its losses in the postseason.

East Islip has been to the county final in seven of the last nine years but hadn't won at that level since 2007.

"We lost three games by a total of nine points,'' East Islip coach Sal J. Ciampi said. "We liked the way the playoffs set up. It gave us the chance to come back and beat every one of the teams that beat us.

"This one feels really good.''

"Our coaches made some great adjustments,'' defensive end Anthony Nunez said. "And we got after them in a big way.''

Hills West halfback Ray Lyte scored on runs of 3 and 51 yards to give the Colts a 14-7 halftime lead. Hannigan's 12-yard touchdown pass to Jake Piacenti was the only score for the Redmen. It was set up when Nunez recovered a muffed punt.

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East Islip took over the game in the second half, holding Hills West (9-2) to 44 total yards.

Hannigan erased the halftime deficit when he capped a seven-play, 86-yard drive with a 54-yard scoring pass to Hugens Tranquille with 5:46 left in the third quarter.

"It was man coverage and he threw a great pass,'' Tranquille said. "Jack's the man.''

Hannigan would be the man again and again. Senior linebacker Sean Karika's fumble recovery set up an 18-yard touchdown pass from Hannigan to John Sihpol for a 21-14 lead with 30 seconds left in the third quarter.

Hannigan's 2-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter sealed the win, and he celebrated with his offensive line in the end zone.

"He's the toughest kid mentally and physically I've ever coached,'' Ciampi said of Hannigan. "They misdiagnosed his injury and he practiced for two days on a broken fibula. Can you imagine? And all he thought about when we lost last year's final was getting into and winning this year's championship.''

Mission accomplished.

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