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Mike LaDonna's three TDs power West Islip past North Babylon

By Gregg Sarra

   It was a lot of Mike LaDonna yesterday for the West Islip Lions. And it was too much for the North Babylon defense.

   The Lions quarterback rushed for 177 yards on 13 carries and three touchdowns in a 54-7 win over North Babylon yesterday in a Suffolk Division II semifinal playoff game. LaDonna also threw for two touchdowns.

   “It was vintage Mike LaDonna,’ said West Islip coach Steve Mileti. “He’s been our leader for two years and emerged as one of Long Island’s top players. He makes excellent decisions running our offense.”

   West Islip (10-0) will meet Lindenhurst (8-2) for the Suffolk Division II title on Friday in LaValle Stadium at Stony Brook University at 7 p.m. It’ll be the third year in a row that the Lions make an appearance in the championship game. They have compiled a 29-3 record over that span.

   “We’re big into reloading in our program and the players believe in the system,” Mileti said. “None of this happens by accident. We’re a family and we play for each other.”

   LaDonna got the Lions started on the fourth play of the first possession.

   North Babylon (5-5) collapsed the line to stop the inside run, and LaDonna pulled the ball from the halfback, and went around the right side untouched for the 52-yard touchdown and a 6-0 with 9:40 left in the quarter.

   West Islip added to the lead when North Babylon muffed a punt and Lions long snapper Christian Esperon, hustling down the field, recovered the fumble on the North Babylon 16. Four plays later, LaDonna scored on a 1-yard run and the Lions led 13-0.

    LaDonna threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Dom Sagginario on a dump over the middle for four yards and a 20-0 lead. And then he used play-action to hit tight end Matt Calhoun for an 8-yard scoring toss and a 27-0 lead with 39 seconds left in the half.

    North Babylon failed to record a first down and were held to 27 yards in the first half as a swarming Lions defense led by linebacker Kyle Haff, who had a sack and five solo tackles shut the Bulldogs down.

    LaDonna went on a quarterback draw down the middle of the field for 80 yards and a touchdown. And West Islip added three more second half touchdown runs by junior Tim Weber of 56 yards, senior Frank Riviezzo Jr., who went 65 yards for a score and sophomore Joe Constantino, who added an 82-yard scoring run for the final margin.


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