Nothing was going to stop Newfield’s Dylan Ferrari from getting to the quarterback this season.
Not even a severely broken left thumb.
The defensive end suffered the injury when he fell awkwardly midway through the fourth quarter of a 32-7 win over North Babylon in a Suffolk Division II semifinal.
“He couldn’t reach out and grab anyone with the left hand. And that’s so hard,” Newfield coach Joe Piccininni said. “But it really didn’t take much away from his game. He was still getting off the ball quickly and getting penetration and causing havoc with the offense. He was a warrior.”
Ferrari played through the pain in the final two games of his high school career with a soft protective club around his left hand.
Perhaps the best compliment came from MacArthur coach Bob Fehrenbach after Newfield’s 41-33 win over the Generals in the Long Island Class II championship game at Hofstra’s Shuart Stadium.
“We saw his films and we double-teamed him,” Fehrenbach said. “He was really good. And he was a guy we felt we had to neutralize, even with the injury. He was such a tough kid.”
Ferrari finished the season with 71 tackles, including 32 solos and 18 for a loss. His dogged pursuit of quarterbacks forced ill-fated throws and turnovers.
For his accomplishments, Ferrari was named the fifth annual winner of the Rob Burnett Award, presented to Suffolk’s top defensive player, at the Suffolk Football Coaches Association banquet Monday night at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Hauppauge.
The other Burnett finalists were Lindenhurst linebacker Bobby Bove, Sayville linebacker Liam Bailey, Newfield defensive back Elijah Riley and Shoreham-Wading River end Ethan Wiederkehr.
“It’s an honor to be recognized for this award,” said Ferrari, who had surgery to repair the thumb the day after winning the Long Island title. “And it’s named after an NFL player who’s also a Newfield alum.”
Ferrari, a 6-1, 236-pound two-way starter, also recorded a team-high 11 sacks and forced two fumbles.
“Our defense played with great discipline,” Ferrari said. “We had excellent cover guys in Denzel [Williams], Elijah and Jelani [Greene] and made it tough to throw on us. And I thought we were really strong up front and at stopping the run.”
Ferrari follows Burnett recipients Ron Denig of Newfield, Steven Casali of Sachem East, Jake Carlock of Babylon and Jasawn Thompson of Deer Park.