Few players stood out more than Ryan Butler during Friday’s Long Island Class IV championship game between Seaford and Miller Place at Hofstra’s Shuart Stadium.
Butler, a junior defensive back, jumped a route and made the deciding interception with 2:15 left in Seaford’s 29-27 win.
“I was dropping back, I saw him drop back, the ball was in the air and I just broke to the ball,” said Butler, who also recorded a pass breakup and three tackles, including one for a loss.
There was some space for Butler to run, but he almost immediately fell to the ground. He said he was focused on not fumbling.
After the game, Butler had tears in his eyes. He said he returned from ACL surgery in the team’s fourth game of the season and that his teammates welcomed him back immediately.
Said Butler: “It means everything . . . I’ve never loved a group of brothers as much as I do them.”
Murphy appreciates the kind words
Making its first trip to the Long Island Championships in program history, Miller Place wasn’t fazed. Coach Greg Murphy earned high praise from Seaford coach Rob Perpall after the game — Perpall said over the public address system that Murphy is a class act — and Murphy was appreciative.
“Coming from a guy like him — he’s been doing this a long time and been around a lot of coaches like myself — it means a lot,” Murphy said. “The guy’s been around the game 49 years. It doesn’t make the pain go away, or the disappointment, but I think we’re on the right track.”
Miller Place was led by Anthony Seymour, who completed 12 of 18 passes for 126 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 70 yards on 14 carries. Tom Nealis and Anthony Filippetti each caught four passes, including a touchdown apiece. Tyler Ammirato rushed 14 times for 72 yards and a touchdown.
The 5-3 Filippetti caught a lateral and rambled 37 yards down the right sideline late in the game. He might very well have broken it for a go-ahead touchdown if not for a hustling play by Seaford’s Luke Farrant, who caught up to him and managed to bring him down to preserve the Vikings’ 29-27 lead.
Said Filippetti, “He had the pursuit angle on me but I still thought I could beat him down the sideline. He made a great play and just got my leg or I was gone for the score.”
Jake and Logan Masters, brothers on Seaford, need to have a good working relationship for the Vikings to be successful.
Jake, a senior center, and Logan, a sophomore quarterback, rely on good chemistry to help run the offense.
“As a 10th-grader, he played unbelievable this year,” Jake said. “He just developed into a great leader. I’m very proud of him.”
Logan completed 8 of 15 passes for 147 yards, including a 31-yard Hail Mary touchdown pass to Zachary Grof as time expired in the first half.
The offensive line of Jake Masters, Nick Brandi, Andrew Chirico, Kris Luciano and Jack Supinsky gave him ample time in the pocket. They also paved the way for a rushing attack that amassed 223 yards on 52 carries.