With players named Kendall "Speedy" Thomas and University of Miami-bound running back Augustus Edwards suiting up for the New York City team in Tuesday night's Empire Challenge at Hofstra's Shuart Stadium, the Long Island defense figured it had its work cut out.
The home team's defensive line, led by Newfield's James Manginelli, Bay Shore's Ousmane Camara, Riverhead's Nick Ross, East Islip's Casey Stengel and Lawrence's John Perrone, was more than up to the task in Long Island's 40-8 win over New York City.
Manginelli, a 6-5, 250-pound defensive end who committed to Stony Brook, set the tone early with 31/2 tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble in the first half as Long Island took a 19-0 lead.
Manginelli had a lot of help as Camara, Perrone, Stengel and Ross helped limit the city to 162 yards of total offense. Camara finished with five tackles, including two for loss, Ross had two tackles and a sack and Perrone had two stops and a fumble recovery.
"We knew how quick they were, so we had a plan of keeping them contained inside to where our linebackers were," Manginelli said. "It was our jobs as defensive linemen to make sure they didn't get outside."
Manginelli's second sack and forced fumble helped set up Long Island's third score of the first half, an 18-yard touchdown catch by Uniondale's William Stanback that gave them a three-touchdown lead.
"We had a great offense to go against in practice during these two weeks," Manginelli said. "The offense was great with their schemes, so the defense got a lot of work in."
Camara, who is also headed to Stony Brook, attributed part of his team's success to its energy.
"It started with our intensity, mind-set and focus," Camara said. "We knew they wanted to get their running back Augustus [Edwards] going on the outside. We listened to our coaches and got to the right spots."
Long Island almost posted the first shutout in the game's 18-year history, but New York City's Edwards scored on a 5-yard run with 8:17 left in the third quarter.