The Long Island Championships, pitting the Nassau and Suffolk champions against each other in each class, began in 1992. Here's a look back at every Class III championship game in history.
1992: Lynbrook 19, Islip 7
Lynbrook came back from a 7-0 first-quarter deficit, ran the ball at - and over - Islip, and beat the Buccaneers before a crowd of 2,428 at Hofstra Stadium. Anthony Picone (pictured) led the charge for Lynbrook, rushing for 145 yards and scoring a touchdown on 33 carries.
1993: New Hyde Park 34, Deer Park 14
Deer Park scored the first and last touchdown of the game, but it was what happened in between that meant the most. New Hyde Park scored five touchdowns in that time led by halfback Craig DeNicola, who gained 331 yards rushing. (Pictured: New Hyde Park's James Kurre grabs an interception intended for Chris Gask of Deer Park.)
1994: Bethpage 20, Comsewogue 15
Comsewogue outgained Bethpage 375 yards to 293, but Bethpage made the big plays when it counted the most. It was the second straight Long Island Championship for Bethpage, which won the Class IV title in 1993 and became the first team to win in two divisions. (Pictured: Bethpage quarterback Troy Gorman drags Comsewogue's Dominick Bracereo.)
1995: North Babylon 28, Bethpage 13
Bethpage rolled into the Long Island Championship Class III as winners of 32 straight games. One would say history was on its side, but North Babylon's offense toppled the history and mystique of Bethpage. North Babylon outgained Bethpage, 360-226, in total offense thanks to running back Jason Hickson who carried 20 times for 152 yards and scored three touchdowns.
1996: Comsewogue 15, Bethpage 13
For Comsewogue to earn its first Long Island Championship the team had to go through the best - Bethpage. Sean Garry provided the margin of victory when he kicked a crucial 26-yard field goal with 6:43 left in the game to give the Warriors a 15-6 lead. (Pictured: Comsewogue QB Kevin Cassese tries to get away from a tackle by Bethpage's Robert Haga.)
1997: North Babylon 50, Clarke 0
The Bulldogs put on a show as they scored the most points and totaled the most yards (416) in LIC history at that point. The defense, which only allowed seven touchdowns all year, set the tone early forcing four turnovers in the first half that would eventually lead to North Babylon TDs. (Pictured: North Babylon's Billy Crabbe, Justin Stark and Ed Billitteri take down Clarke's Kevin Pierce.)
1998: Sayville 51, Glen Cove 6
The Golden Flashes outhit, outran and outdid Glen Cove in every regard. Sayville pounded out 358 yards rushing, led by halfback Vin Greco (pictured), who finished with 164 yards on 11 carries, including a 54-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. By the end of the first half, it was evident this was a mismatch as Sayville scored on all three of its possessions.
1999: Amityville 18, Garden City 16
Garden City watched a 16-6 fourth-quarter lead dwindle away and the championship slip through its fingers. It started when Amityville's Eugene Nottingham (pictured) scored on an 11-yard run with 5:48 left to cut the score to 16-12. It went from bad to worse when Garden City's Dave Kang was intercepted by Max Rose. Three plays later, Nottingham scored to give Amityville an 18-16 lead.
2000: Bethpage 29, Amityville 28
Chris DeSimone rushed for 124 yards, including what proved to be the winning 47-yard scoring run with 9:31 left in the game. It was just enough to overcome Eugene Nottingham who finished with 123 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries. The Golden Eagles completed an 11-0 season and captured the school's third Long Island championship.
2001: Wantagh 17, Harborfields 7
Wantagh's starting quarterback Brian Rath broke his right wrist the week before the championship. If there was ever a time junior backup Jeff Hiller was going to step up and deliver the game of his life, this was it. Hiller completed 11 of 12 passes for 113 yards and two touchdowns as Wantagh earned a 17-7 victory and wrote an incredible storybook ending to an unbeaten season at Hofstra Stadium.
2002: Bethpage 28, Islip 14
Islip entered the game as huge underdogs to the Bethpage powerhouse. After one quarter, Bethpage had a 13-point lead and the game seemed to be out of reach. The scrappy underdogs had other ideas as the Buccaneers scored twice in 31 seconds and had a 14-13 lead in the second quarter. However, there was no fairy tale ending for Islip as junior running backs Rich Festante (pictured) and Jordan Levine both scored in the fourth quarter to give Bethpage the title.
2003: Bethpage 18, Huntington 7
Bethpage made it back-to-back titles with a win over Huntington at Stony Brook's LaValle Stadium. Much like the previous year, it was Rich Festante (pictured) who put the finishing touches on another title. His 21-yard score with 2:06 left in the final quarter sealed the deal for another perfect 11-0 season.
2004: Sayville 55, Wantagh 14
When it rains it pours. It poured on Wantagh during the Class III title game at Shuart Stadium. After giving the ball away only five times all season, Wantagh turned it over seven times, including five interceptions. Wantagh lost the ball on five straight possessions between the second and fourth quarters. Sayville took advantage of every mistake on the way to the team's second Class III title.
2005: Huntington 27, Plainedge 14
With the score tied at 14 in the fourth quarter, the Blue Devils marched 82 yards on nine plays. Dominick Sair accounted for 32 of those yards, capped by his 12-yard burst through the left side with 3:27 left for a 20-14 lead. Sair carried Huntington to the title with a bad ankle and a surgically repaired knee. (Pictured: Huntington's Eric Santos bowls over Plainedge's Ryan Glueckert before being tackled by Brian Hanrahan.)
2006: Sayville 48, Bethpage 6
Halfback Chris DeLuca shredded the Bethpage defense for five first-half touchdowns as Sayville rolled to a 48-6 win before a crowd of 4,000 at Hofstra's Shuart Stadium. DeLuca gave Sayville 186 of its 397 total rushing yards. It was the school's third win in as many appearances in the Long Island championship game and the second in three years.
2007: Islip 14, Bethpage 12
It was a tale of two very different teams: The Bethpage powerhouse vs. smaller, opportunistic Islip. Each time Bethpage scored, Islip responded swiftly. Bethpage opened the second half with a 12-7 lead after Joe Loria's 1-yard touchdown run. Islip's John La Monica recovered a muffed punt at the Bethpage 24-yard line that would set up the eventual winning score.
2008 ? SAYVILLE 13, BETHPAGE 7
Sayville?s Dillon Boos went from goat to hero as he turned the ball over four times - two first-half interceptions and two fumbles in the third quarter. The two teams battled their way to overtime where once again, Boos was in the middle of the action. Nick Stover was inches from the goal line after he caught a pass from Boos. It took Boos two tries to run it in from the 1-yard line for the final score. |
2009: Half Hollow Hills West 42, Lawrence 32
Lawrence had its chances to put high-flying Hills West away. The one thing Lawrence didn't have was a way to stop Hills West quarterback JeVahn Cruz (pictured). Cruz put Hills West on his back, rushing for 204 yards and three touchdowns, passing for 133 yards and three touchdowns and accounting for 416 yards overall. Quarterback John Kinder scored four touchdowns as Lawrence took leads of 7-0, 13-7, 20-14 and 26-21.
2010 -- LYNBROOK 42, SAYVILLE 27
Nov. 26, 2010
Senior quarterback Paul Magloire ran for three touchdowns and a pair of two-point conversion for Lynbrook. The game featured one of the most spectacular plays of the season, which came on a two-point conversion. Magloire took the snap and looked to run straight up the middle, but then bounced outside to the right, leaped over two Sayville defenders and rolled into the end zone.
Above: Lynbrook quarterback Paul Magloire looks for an open receiver before scrambling for yardage.
2011 -- SAYVILLE 78, LAWRENCE 61
Sayville beat Lawrence, 78-61, at LaValle Stadium, in the highest-scoring varsity football game ever played on Long Island. Running backs Zach Sirico (six touchdowns, two conversion runs, 224 yards) and John Haggart (three touchdowns, including two on the ground, 141 yards) led the way. Sayville hardly needed the services of record-setting quarterback Steven Ferreira. He was 10-for-14 for 225 yards and two touchdowns. |
2012 — LAWRENCE 21, SAYVILLE 20
Lawrence got its revenge this time around. In another thrilling game, Lawrence defeated Sayville, 21-20, at Hofstra University, ending Sayville's Long Island-best 23-game winning streak. Eddie Robinson helped put Lawrence ahead late with a 30-yard interception return for a touchdown after the team faced a 20-7 deficit. Then on fourth-and-1 with less than four minutes left in the game, Lawrence came up with another big defensive stop to seal the deal.
2013 -- LAWRENCE 41, HUNTINGTON 32
Joe Capobianco tossed three touchdown passes and Jordan Fredericks scored on runs of five and 30 yards and a 22-yard pass to lift Lawrence to its second straight championship. Sean Moran recovered a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown and Elijah Jones had an 82-yard scoring reception in the win. Capobianco set the Long Island record for career touchdowns with 100. |
2014: Lawrence 40, Sayville 35
With Lawrence trailing 35-34, Melik Mavruk -- a 6-2, 265-pound senior lineman -- returned a Sayville fumble 82 yards for the go-ahead score with 1:06 left at Hofstra's Shuart Stadium. Jordan Fredericks ran for 227 yards and four touchdowns on 26 carries as the Golden Tornadoes became the first team in Nassau history to win three consecutive Long Island championships. Sayville QB Jack Coan finished his season as the record holder for passing TDs (40) and passing yards (3,431).
2015: Sayville 59, Plainedge 15
Jack Coan ran for 227 yards and three TDs and passed for 294 yards and two more as Sayville completed a perfect season with a 59-15 victory over Plainedge at Stony Brook's LaValle Stadium. Coan ran for a 48-yard TD in the second quarter and threw a first-quarter TD pass as the Golden Flashes (12-0) grabbed a 27-7 halftime lead. The junior had 220 of his passing yards in the first half, and when the Red Devils (11-1) took away the pass, Coan ran for 144 yards in the second half. Ashton Bradley contributed 62 yards rushing and four touchdowns.
2016: Wantagh 21, East Islip 14
The Warriors hadn't allowed a point in the playoffs. East Islip changed that on their first drive on the Class III LIC. Wantagh's outlook only improved thereafter. They rallied and eventually their Long Island-best defense took over in the second half of a 21-14 victory over East Islip in a game played before a crowd of more than 5,000 at Hofstra's Shuart Stadium.
2017: Westhampton 54, Lawrence 26
Westhampton senior halfback Dylan Laube gained 227 yards on 25 carries and scored six touchdowns before more than 3,000 at Stony Brook University's LaValle Stadium. Laube finished the season with a Long Island-record 47 touchdowns, breaking the mark of 45 set by North Babylon's Jason Gwaltney in 2004, and tied the Long Island Championships record with his six TDs.