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Sam Ilario, West Islip win statement game in Suffolk II

West Islip's Sam Ilario runs for the first

West Islip's Sam Ilario runs for the first down during a game against Newfield. (Sept. 28, 2012) Credit: Alan J Schaefer

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.

Or just give the ball to Dan Johnson and let him run. Johnson got 73 tough yards inside and helped the Lions kill the clock in the fourth quarter.

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.

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