Sayville outlasts Lawrence for Class III title
Forget those leftovers. Sunday's Long Island Class III championship game was the main feast of the holiday weekend.
Digest this: When Sayville beat Lawrence, 78-61, at Stony Brook's LaValle Stadium, it was the highest-scoring varsity football game ever played on Long Island.
You read that right.
Since the first football game on Long Island in 1884, no two teams had ever totaled more than the 139 points posted Sunday by the Golden Flashes (12-0) and Golden Tornado (10-2).
Sayville's total eclipsed the previous Long Island Championships record for a single team of 62, set by Freeport in last year's Class I final.
"Offensively, we couldn't have done it any better,'' said a Gatorade-soaked Sayville coach Rob Hoss. "What I liked most was that all year, we made our living through the air, and today we won it with the offensive line and the running game.''
With running backs Zach Sirico (six touchdowns, two conversion runs, 224 yards) and John Haggart (three TDs, including two on the ground, 141 yards) leading the way, Sayville hardly needed the services of record-setting quarterback Steven Ferreira. He was 10-for-14 for 225 yards and two TDs, but mostly, Hoss said, "I just told him to manage the game.''
"Our offensive line was overpowering,'' said Ferreira, who had 6,407 passing yards and 73 TD passes in his career, both L.I. records. "We've never scored this many points before. There's no better feeling.''
Lawrence actually outgained Sayville 667-609 in total offense. Lawrence sophomore quarterback Joe Capobianco set two LIC records by passing for 541 yards and throwing seven touchdown passes -- three to Tyler Fredericks, who scored four TDs, and three to Ed Robinson. Robinson had an LIC-record 238 yards on eight catches.
The score-a-thon began on Sayville's first offensive play when Haggart broke free for a 40-yard touchdown run. He was the featured back in the first half, gaining 110 yards, but Sayville held only a six-point lead (35-29) because Capobianco had 221 yards passing and three TD passes at the break. And both teams were just getting warmed up.
Sayville sizzled with a two-back alignment it generally has reserved for short-yardage situations. Instead, every time Sirico and Haggart touched the ball, it gave new meaning to the expression "long-yardage situation.'' Sirico averaged 12.2 yards and Haggart 10.3.
"They couldn't stop our running game,'' Haggart said. "With the double-back set, we do something where I'm the lead blocker. That was key. I don't mind blowing people up if it leads to scores.''
It did a half-dozen times for Sirico, including a 41-yard burst on Sayville's opening possession of the third quarter in which Haggart cleared the way with a crunching block on the corner. "We knew we had to keep scoring,'' Haggart said.
That's because Capobianco kept throwing and the Fredericks brothers kept catching. Capobianco completed 27 of 41 passes. Jordan Fredericks caught seven for 136 yards and a TD, Tyler Fredericks pulled in six for 119 and Ryan Fredericks grabbed six for 46.
Said Haggart: "We knew Capobianco was great. I've never seen a game like this.''
Sayville scored three TDs in a span of 3:28 in the third quarter to build what proved to be an insurmountable 64-36 lead. Sirico scored on a 15-yard run, Haggart plowed in from 2 yards out and Matt Ali returned an interception 12 yards for a TD. "That's when I knew it was a special day,'' Hoss said.
Haggart was quick to rattle off the names of the Sayville offensive linemen who controlled the game -- tackles Billy Johnson and Rob Newell (who was in on 12 ½ tackles), guards Chris Lorenzo and Spencer Rey and center Matt Iovino. "We were unstoppable,'' Haggart said. "It's just crazy.''
It's just history now.