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And the Rutgers Cup goes to...Garden City

Phillip Price (76) and Garden City teammates after

Phillip Price (76) and Garden City teammates after defeating MacArthur in Nassau Conference II final at Hofstra's Shuart Stadium on Nov. 20, 2021. Credit: James Escher

The Garden City football team went wire to wire as the best team on Long Island. Garden City won 20 games in the past eight months between the spring and fall seasons.

The dominance displayed in Long Island’s first-ever spring season carried into the fall where they ran the table with a 12-0 record after a 14-6 win over Bellport to capture the Class II championship at Stony Brook's LaValle Stadium.

Led by Thorp Award winner Jack Cascadden, Garden City also earned the coveted Rutgers Cup, presented to the top team in Nassau as voted on by the Nassau County Football Coaches Association. Garden City last won the Cup in 2016 and 2017. It has copped the award seven times.

Garden City totaled 25 first-place votes and finished with 116 points in a very close finish with Plainedge, the Long Island Class III champion, which had 19 first-place votes and 110 points. Plainedge also finished with a 12-0 record and rocked all of Nassau Conference III, before beating East Islip, 26-16, in the Class III championship. The Red Devils won the Cup in 2019 — the only time in program history.

Massapequa, the Long Island Class I champion, totaled five first-place votes and 65 points.

Casey wins Piner

Wantagh senior Liam Casey earned the Piner Award presented to Nassau’s top linebacker. The three-year inside linebacker recorded 103 tackles, including 18 for a loss and four sacks. He added one interception and forced eight fumbles of which he recovered three. He blocked a field goal, a punt and an extra point.

"He could shed blocks and go sideline to sideline to make a tackle," Wantagh coach Keith Sachs said. "He was a student of the game working just as hard in preparation and in film study as he did in weight training and playing on the field. He was a very physical, imposing kid on the defensive side of the ball."

In Casey’s three-year career, he totaled 313 tackles. The other finalists were Garden City's Cascadden and Shane Mosia of Plainedge.

Syosset senior Luca Cutolo was named the winner of the Pat Pizzarelli/Jets receiver Award. He had 61 receptions for 1,031 yards and 16 touchdowns. The two-time winner of this award was a difference maker for the Syosset offense. The other finalists were Jake Ciolino of Massapequa, Joe Iadevaio of Plainedge and Kyle Lewis of Carey.

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