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LIC Class III: Liam McIntyre’s message rings true

Westhampton's Liam McIntyre looks on against Half Hollow

Westhampton's Liam McIntyre looks on against Half Hollow Hills West in the Suffolk Division III football final at LaValle Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Shortly after the Westhampton football team became a Suffolk III finalist, the players’ phones collectively buzzed. It’s not unusual for the team’s group chat to sing all day long, but this message was different. This message was distinctly special.

It came from fullback Liam McIntyre and it was recorded at the lowest point of his season. He broke his hand on the first offensive play of Westhampton’s win over Bellport in Week 1, and as he left the field — an X-ray room his destination — he took a cellphone video of the scoreboard.

Things had not gone the way he, or Westhampton, wanted in the first 24 minutes of 2017. But McIntyre knew his team, he knew the expectations and he knew that one half does not a season make.

“I think we were down by nine at the time, which we weren’t supposed to be,” said McIntyre, who missed the next three games. “As I was walking off the field, I took a video of the scoreboard and I said, ‘This isn’t how it’s supposed to be. Our team is going to go to Stony Brook this year. I promise you, everyone is going to come back from our injuries, we will be at Stony Brook and I will show you guys this video when we get there.’ ”

Fast-forward to the Hurricanes’ 61-21 Suffolk III semifinal win over West Babylon. McIntyre, who had kept the video a secret, teased star running back Dylan Laube. Something cool was coming after the game, he said.

Despite prodding, nothing more was revealed.

And then, off went the phones.

“My first reaction was ‘Wow,’ ” receiver Nolan Quinlan said. “He said in the video, ‘Just wait until we’re at Stony Brook.’ He didn’t even tell us about this video until he sent it. I was pumped up. I’m just glad that we’re here. It was a long journey, but it was definitely amazing.”

“Here’’ is the Long Island Class III championship game. The Hurricanes, who will attempt to win their first L.I. title, will face Lawrence — a program making its 10th appearance in the Long Island Championships — at noon Sunday at Stony Brook’s LaValle Stadium.

Westhampton (11-0) has averaged 41 points per game and Laube, Long Island’s leading rusher, has gained 2,453 yards. He also has scored 41 touchdowns. But the team without a loss is hardly a one-man show.

“Our winning streak speaks for itself,” said Quinlan, who has caught four touchdown passes this season.

As for notching that final win, Quinlan said dealing with Lawrence’s size advantage will be a huge yet manageable key.

“They’re fast and they’re bigger than us, but I don’t think that’s an excuse,” Quinlan said. “We’ve dealt with bigger teams in the past and I think it comes down to skill at the end of the day.”

And should the Hurricanes “out-skill’’ Lawrence, that Westhampton group chat won’t be quiet for long.

Said McIntyre, “I’m sure we’re going to have a lot of videos if we win.”

WESTHAMPTON

HURRICANES

No. Player Grade Pos.

1 Tom Blake 12 HB/DB

2 Jaden Alfano-St. John 10 HB/DB

3 Craig Connor 12 WR/LB

4 Shavar Coffey 10 FB/LB

5 Jeff McBurnie 10 QB/DB

9 Nolan Quinlan 12 WR/DE

10 Matt Anastasia 12 WR/DB

11 Joe Cuccia 11 WR/DB

12 Dylan Laube 12 HB/DB

15 Nery Luna 12 FB/LB

19 Aidan Cumisky 10 TE/LB

20 Matt Lessard 10 QB/DB

21 Clarke Lewis 11 QB/DB

23 Tyler Nolan 11 HB/LB

25 Tom Maguire 12 FB/LB

30 Jack Gilbride 11 HB/DB

32 Mark Gregory 12 FB/LB

33 Joe Sarno 10 FB/LB

34 Liam McIntyre 11 FB/LB

35 Matthew Leotta 10 RB/DB

42 Jason Floegel 11 WR/DB

44 Aidan Cassara 9 RB/LB

45 Gage Rubio 10 RB/LB

48 Clayton Arcuri 10 RB/DB

50 Danny Eckart 11 G/DE

52 Jake Bennett 11 G/LB

53 Brendan Conti 11 T/DE

54 Devin Koonmen 11 C/DT

55 Brian Mensch 10 OL/LB

56 Edon Popi 11 G/DE

57 Sean Mirzaev 11 T/DE

60 Tate Buhl 11 G/LB

62 Chris Daleo 10 OL/DL

64 Carl Tyson 12 T/DT

65 Kevin Dillon 10 OL/DL

66 Kurt Mion 12 G/DE

73 Charles Fee 12 T/DT

75 Ethan Bentley 12 G/DE

77 Jon Mendoza 11 T/DE

78 Lucas Villareale 12 C/DE

79 Bayley Carrieri 10 WR/DB

80 Jackson Hulse 9 HB/LB

82 Tyler Jacino 12 WR/DB

86 Jack Naglieri 10 WR/DB

88 Paul Boutin 10 WR/DB

89 Jesse Alfano-St. John 10 TE/DE

Coach Bill Parry

HURRICANES’

ROAD TO THE LIC

Suffolk III playoffs

Rocky Point, 56-21

West Babylon, 61-21

County championship

Hills West, 28-14

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