For the fifth time in six years, Carey’s football season ended with playoff disappointment at the hands of Garden City.
The top-seeded Trojans, down 12 points and with nothing on the scoreboard with less than three minutes remaining in the third quarter, rallied to beat the No. 4 Seahawks, 22-18, in a Nassau Conference II semifinal on Saturday afternoon at Hofstra’s Shuart Stadium. It’ll be Garden City vs. Wantagh for the title next Sunday at Noon.
The game turned on the opening play of the fourth quarter when Carey fumbled away the ball on third-and-goal at the Garden City 4. The Trojans then drove the length of the field to lead for the first time with 7:12 left on quarterback Brett Stewart’s 6-yard touchdown pass to Spencer Bais.
Garden City’s defense came up big again on the ensuing possession, keeping the Seahawks out of the end zone on fourth-and-goal from the 1. Following a penalty, Scott D’Antonio’s 84-yard touchdown run on the next snap made it 22-12 with 2:18 remaining, but the celebration was put on hold.
Carey junior quarterback Ray Catapano, who threw for 353 yards on 23 of 31 passing, connected with Dylan DeMeo for a 25-yard touchdown with 1:03 left, and the Seahawks were still alive after recovering an on-side kick. They drove to the Garden City 36, but an acrobatic interception by Justin Guterding, his second of the day, at the 5 with 32 seconds to go sealed the outcome.
“We call it the battle of Nassau Boulevard,” said Guterding, who got the Trojans on the board with 2:14 remaining in the third quarter with a 26-yard touchdown grab. “They don’t like us, and we don’t like them,” he added. “It’s always a good game. They’re tough, and they had us at halftime, but we didn’t want to let our seniors down.”
Carey’s defense was tremendous in the opening half, holding the Trojans to 108 yards. For the game, the Lucito trio of junior Joseph (12 tackles), sophomore Anthony (seven) and senior Matt (five) combined for 24 stops. DeMeo and sophomore Nick Spillane intercepted Stewart in the first half, but Stewart would throw for 94 of his 163 yards and two touchdowns and a two-point conversion in the second half.
Junior James Carr, with a 76-yard catch, and sophomore Conor Colasurdo, on a 1-yard run, scored first-half touchdowns for the Seahawks (7-3), who out-gained Garden City by a 451-407 margin.
Carr’s touchdown grab came 5:30 into the game. Catapano froze the defense with a fake handoff to Matt Robison (11 receptions, 158 yards), while Carr slipped behind the secondary. Carr caught the ball at midfield and was off to the races, making it 6-0.
The Seahawks extended the lead to 12-0 midway through the second quarter on a 74-yard drive, highlighted by Robison’s 48-yard run.