Opposing defenses are well aware of how good Joseph Filardi is. But that does not make stopping him any easier.
The Half Hollow Hills West junior quarterback had one of the most prolific seasons in Long Island history, completing 215 of 347 passes for 3,337 yards, a Long Island-record 44 touchdowns and only six interceptions.
When teams tried to limit Filardi’s arm, he was able to do damage on the ground. He had 120 carries for 1,083 yards and 13 rushing scores.
Filardi was recognized for his record-setting season with the 2023 Boomer Esiason Award, which annually honors the best quarterback in Suffolk County. He was presented the hardware during the Suffolk Football Coaches Association dinner Monday night at the Hyatt Regency in Hauppauge.
“To be able to coach a player of his caliber is unique,” said Hills West coach Gerald Filardi, Joseph’s father. “A lot of coaches don’t get that often, you get good players. I can say he’s the best player I’ve coached so far, and I’ve coached some good players coming up. And so as a coach, I’m humbled to say that and honored to be that.”
Filardi shattered the Long Island single-game total yardage record with 601 in a 48-42 win at Westhampton on Oct. 27 (passing for 356 yards and five touchdowns and running for 245 yards and two TDs). Glenn’s Ryan Rielly had held the record with 506 total yards (376 passing yards and 130 rushing yards) against Mount Sinai in October 2010.
Eight days later in a Suffolk Division III quarterfinal, Filardi put on quite the encore. He totaled 651 all-purpose yards and accounted for 10 touchdowns (also a Long Island single-game record) in an epic 70-68 win over Smithtown West. Filardi passed for 404 yards and seven touchdowns and rushed for 183 yards and three TDs. He added 64 yards on one kick return.
“I think it’s just his mobility,” Smithtown West coach Craig Perrino said. “He’s just such a threat running the ball . . . Other teams throw the ball but you can play defense, you can play coverage, you can lighten the box up. If you lighten the box up on him, he’s just going to run the ball and it’s going to be a very long day for you.”
Filardi, a Syracuse lacrosse commit, has passed for 80 TDs and 6,165 yards in his career.
The Colts’ season ended in the Suffolk Division III semifinals, but Hills West will enter next season with high hopes and the county’s best quarterback.
“I’m extremely proud as a dad and us as a family,” Gerald Filardi said. “So there’s kind of no words. It’s just, he’s a great kid and [I’m] just so proud of him.”