Sam Ilario was such an elusive target Friday night that he even made the hard-hitting, swarm-to-the-ball Newfield defense miss, time and again.
"If you went to a clinic on breaking tackles, he'd be the guy you'd use," West Islip coach Steve Mileti said. "He's a special athlete."
Ilario, a junior quarterback and a rising star in Long Island football, darted for two touchdowns and danced in the pocket to throw two more as West Islip defeated Newfield, 28-14, at the Selden home of the defending Long Island Class II champions.
"It's a new year," said Ilario, who threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Wieczorek midway through the second quarter that, combined with the first of four extra points by Zach Hageman, gave the Lions (4-0) a 7-6 lead they would not relinquish. The Wolverines (3-1) saw their winning streak end at 10 games.
Ilario rushed 20 times for 116 yards and completed 8 of 12 passes for 98 yards. After his 8-yard scoring burst on the first drive of the second half put West Islip ahead 14-6, Ilario made one of those "clinic" moves, somehow escaping two Newfield tacklers on the corner and breaking loose for a dazzling 38-yard touchdown run and a 21-6 lead.
"It was an option play and I decided to keep the ball," Ilario said. "I kept my legs going and a big play happened."
After the Wolverines cut it to 21-14 on Josh Hanna's 2-yard dive, Ilario and Nick Aponte answered. On fourth-and-5 from the Newfield 22 early in the fourth quarter, Ilario hit Aponte on a quick "stop" route. "They were giving it to us all night," Aponte said.
What the Wolverines didn't count on was Aponte spinning and turning a short gain into a backbreaking 22-yard scoring play. "Just get Nick the ball and let him run," Ilario said.
West Islip is back in Suffolk II after a season in Suffolk I. "This was a statement game," Aponte said. "It lets everyone know we're back in Division II."
Certainly Newfield knows. The Wolverines have never beaten West Islip. The all-time series now stands at 15-0-1.