People love a comeback story. But the West Islip football team can hardly consider Saturday’s win a real comeback. The undefeated Lions trailed by 11 early in the first quarter, but Smithtown West never really got to enjoy the short-lived lead.
Quarterback Mike LaDonna orchestrated five touchdown drives and the host Lions reeled off 34 unanswered points in a 37-14 win over previously undefeated Smithtown West in a pivotal Suffolk Division II football game.
The win sets up a showdown of unbeatens when West Islip (3-0) hosts Northport (3-0) next Saturday at 2 p.m. Northport beat Deer Park, 41-7.
LaDonna rushed for 125 yards and scored on runs of one and 15 and halfback Dominick Sagginario added 165 yards and two scores as the West Islip offensive line took the game over.
“It was bang, bang, and to their credit Smithtown West was up two scores on us,” said West Islip coach Steve Mileti. “They caught us early, very similar to the way Bellport got up on us early. But our guys never stop believing in our system and each other. They’re so resilient and stayed together and within our game plan.”
On West Islip’s first possession, kicker Bobby DiCapua drilled a 28-yard field goal for the 3-0 lead but Smithtown West (2-1) came right back. The Bulls took the lead when junior Chad Cusumano raced 81 yards for a touchdown. Carl Carrano added the kick to make it 7-3.
On West Islip’s next possession, linebacker Reed Greco blocked the punt. He recovered the ball for a touchdown and a 14-3 Smithtown West lead. “We settled in and the offensive line was clicking,” Mileti said.
Mileti credited guards Jack Pollock, Will Reichel and TJ Sawina and tackles Ed Talanian and Donnie Ryan and center Matt Lohan for turning the tide.