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Class I champion Lindenhurst charges into Suffolk II

West Islip quarterback Mike LaDonna

West Islip quarterback Mike LaDonna Credit: Richard T. Slattery

The Bulldogs are loose in Suffok II.

Lindenhurst, year’s undefeated Long Island Class I champion, moves to Class II based on enrollment changes and would like nothing more than to do it again.

The foundation of the team is built on a rock-solid line led by juniors Will Ruckert and Jeff Perez and third-year starter Michael Bradley. Coach Nick Lombardo believes Ruckert has the potential to be on of the best lineman on the Island and Perez took every snap at center as a sophomore. At least division opponents won’t have to worry about Rucket’s brother, Jeremy, now a wide receiver at Ohio State.

West Islip, which reached the Suffolk II title game each of the last two seasons, returns an experienced team led senior quarterback Mike LaDonna, who broke the school single-season rushing record, according to coach Steve Mileti, with 1,358 yards. He also led the team in touchdowns (18) and all-purpose yards (2,114). His top targets will be be Max Albanese and Pat Cunningham, who led the team in receiving touchdowns (3) and yards (345)

Northport, which reached the Suffolk I semifinals last year, is also new to Class II. Tyler Pedersen, at SIZE, is a big, athletic lineman that will anchor the line in front of talented running backs Justin and James Gerdvil.

Defending Suffolk champion North Babylon enters as the No. 5 seed and will rely on lineman Greg Sesso and Bobby Shepherd and quarterback Ross Tallarico to guide the offense.

Centereach, led by quarterback, Devin Demetres, expects to contend for a home playoff game while Bellport relys on game-breaking running back D.J. Trent, who ran for 909 yards and 14 TDs.

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