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Rashad Tucker, Aaron Ruthman QB tandem leads Long Island

Long Island football players shared their experiences playing in the 22nd annual Empire Challenge at Hofstra's Shuart Stadium on Wednesday, June 21, 2017. (Credit: Newsday / Kenny DeJohn)

With two quarterbacks capable of electrifying the crowd, the Long Island team put on a show in Wednesday night’s 22nd Empire Challenge.

Elmont’s Aaron Ruthman, who passed for 1,919 yards and 25 touchdowns in the fall, punctuated three of L.I.’s drives with touchdown passes and tallied 145 yards in three quarters.

Ruthman was considered the team’s second team quarterback behind Rashad Tucker. The Freeport star used his legs, leading all rushers through three quarters with 58 yards on 11 carries.

“When we’re blocking for Rashad, he can make plays,” said Farmingdale offensive lineman Christian Erkens. “If you miss on your block, just run him up the field and he’ll do something crazy. For Aaron, you have to keep the pocket and he’ll throw a dime every time.”

Floyd coach Paul Longo said that everyone on offense was prepped for both quarterbacks, although Tucker’s shiftiness allowed for more options.

“Both quarterbacks we really feel can throw and run, but one is such a talented runner that we might use it a little more,” Longo said. “But we prepared them the same way to throw and run with everybody.”

Bromley following in NFL brother’s footsteps

Long Beach’s Tyreek Bromley was humbled to take the field. His brother, Giants defensive tackle Jay Bromley, also played in the Empire Challenge, winning MVP honors in 2010.

“It’s really special to me,” Tyreek said. “It’s crazy that my brother actually played in the same game.”

He called his brother’s story “a miracle,” as the MVP performance led the under-recruited tackle to receive an offer from Syracuse. He parlayed his time in college to an NFL career.

“Who wouldn’t want to have a brother in the NFL? It just makes me want to work harder to be the best player I can be,” Tyreek said.

Last parachute jump a memorable one

Prior to the game, three men parachuted down to the “H” at midfield of Shuart Stadium.

Great Neck’s Kevin Krupski, 33, executed his final jump flawlessly. He said he has jumped more than 1,000 times in 15 years.

“It’s like jumping into your own backyard,” Krupski said. “It’s special.”


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