Had Liam McIntyre gone with the first opinion given to him by a doctor after he broke his left index finger in Week 1, he wouldn’t have been on the field for Westhampton, holding the Long Island Class III championship plaque high overhead.
The junior captain said the doctor wanted to operate and put a plate over the break, which would have sidelined him for the season. Instead, another doctor suggested setting the bone back in place and then wearing a cast.
He opted for that and returned in Week 5 — and all of his hard work paid off in Westhampton’s 54-26 win over Lawrence on Sunday at Stony Brook’s LaValle Stadium. He ran for 77 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries and recorded eight tackles and two sacks as Westhampton won its first Long Island championship.
“I don’t think I’ve ever cried from winning something,” he said. “I just cried on the sideline before. It’s a sick feeling right now.”
Hurricanes’ O-line paves the way
Westhampton racked up 379 yards on 48 rushes, outgaining Lawrence’s total yardage. Dylan Laube rushed for 227 yards and six touchdowns, McIntyre had 77, Tyler Nolan had 61 and Clarke Lewis had 14.
Behind that rushing attack was the offensive line of Charles Fee, Jake Bennett, Edon Popi, Kurt Mion and Lucas Villareale. They helped the Hurricanes’ prolific offense post impressive numbers all season and were integral in Laube’s 47 touchdowns, a Long Island single-season record. He had six on Sunday.
“It’s amazing just to know that we were getting it done even if he was getting the glory, knowing we caused that, we were a big part of that,” said the 6-4, 295-pound Fee, who also converted six of eight extra-point attempts.
He said he became the team’s kicker when the starter got hurt three days before the first game of the season. A lifelong soccer player, Fee kicked low line drives through the uprights instead of the traditional, high-arching variety.
Lawrence’s turning point
Golden Tornadoes coach Joe Martillotti said the turning point came near the end of the first half with his team trailing 20-6. Quarterback Christian Fredericks handed the ball off to Chris Collier, who immediately executed a jump pass to Christian Rodas.
Rodas sprinted 60 yards for what appeared to be a touchdown with time winding down, but a penalty reduced the play to only a 17-yard gain. Lawrence didn’t score before the half.
Fredericks excelled, rushing for 30 yards and completing 12 of 22 passes for 142 yards and a touchdown.
“He made some good throws,” Martillotti said. “We needed a few more.”