Blake Cascadden #20 of Garden City, left, congratulates Stevie Finnell...

Blake Cascadden #20 of Garden City, left, congratulates Stevie Finnell #21 after he ran for a 37-yard touchdown in the second quarter of the Nassau County football Conference II semifinals against South Side at Shuart Stadium on Friday, Nov. 11, 2022. Credit: James Escher

The South Side Cyclones ran into a hurricane on Friday.

And it wasn’t just the remnants of Hurricane Nicole that splashed down on Hofstra’s Shuart Stadium.

Garden City arrived for its Nassau Conference II semifinal as the six-time defending champ, and as an undefeated, top-seeded football team. The fifth-seeded Cyclones arrived with two of their top offensive players down with injuries.

The Trojans blew out to a 33-point halftime lead en route to a 47-6 victory.

The driving force now?

“Keeping the tradition going, the tradition of winning,” said senior Stevie Finnell, who carried 11 times for 115 yards and three touchdowns, all in the first half. “I would say it’s more like expectations, not as much pressure.”

This 10-0 powerhouse will face No. 2 Mepham or No. 3 Long Beach in the final at 7:30 p.m. next Friday back at Hofstra.

The Trojans will pursue sole possession of a record — most consecutive Nassau championships. Currently, their six have them tied with the Trojans of 1990-1995.

“It’s pretty cool any time you have a chance to make history in a historic program,” coach Dave Ettinger said. “Obviously, there’s a lot of teams involved with that. But I’m really happy about how our team is focused right now.”

Garden City’s first three possessions began at the Cyclones’ 36, 38 and 33 after two punt returns and a fumble recovery.

Finnell ran the ball through the middle for a 4-yard score to cap the first drive.

The rain started falling. The touchdowns continued to flow freely, too.

The second drive ended with quarterback Cole Webber plowing ahead for a 1-yard TD. The third drive concluded when Finnell bounced out to the left side, broke a tackle at the 10 and completed a 37-yard scoring run.

Aidan Considine then read and intercepted a South Side  screen pass. The junior linebacker took off for a 54-yard touchdown. His first career pick-six made it 27-0, and 6:14 still remained until halftime.

"We started out slow, but now we’re all together and we’re playing really strong,” Considine said of the defense.

The score rose to 47-0 before Danyae Northington broke through for South Side (5-5) on a 5-yard run to the end zone with 2:32 left in the fourth.

“You’ve got to basically play a perfect game against them,” Cyclones coach Phil Onesto said. “We were far from perfect. They take advantage of all your mistakes.”


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