A week after winning its first Nassau County football championship in 35 years, Carey put the finishing touch on a perfect season Friday afternoon by capturing its first-ever Long Island title, beating Riverhead, 20-6, for the Class II crown at Hofstra’s Shuart Stadium.
Led by seniors Ray Catapano and Andrew Ris, the Seahawks (12-0) scored all of their points in the second quarter, including two touchdowns in a span of 1:02, and carried a 20-0 lead into the fourth. Catapano’s nifty 7-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-goal opened the scoring 1:34 into the second, and his two-point conversion pass that followed to junior Nick Spillane provided Carey with all the offense it would need on the way to making history.
“We’ve got such a special group of kids,” Carey head coach Mike Stanley said. “They worked tremendously hard all season. Even after games we dominated, they came back on Monday hungry as ever and ready to work.
“We had another great week of practice leading up to this game, and they went out and executed,” he added.
Senior Joseph Lucito (11 tackles), junior Conor Colasurdo (8.5), and senior Matt Robison (7.5) led a Carey defense that didn’t crack until the Blue Waves (10-2) found the end zone early in the fourth quarter. “We knew we couldn’t let up,” Lucito said. “We didn’t want to let them back in it.”
Two big plays late in the second quarter gave the Seahawks plenty of breathing room against a Riverhead team minus leading rusher Jerimiah Cheatom. After just missing on several deep throws in the first quarter, Catapano hit Ris with a 24-yard touchdown pass with 2:39 remaining in the half to make it 14-0. Then Stanley reached into the bag of tricks after a botched punt put his offense in business at the Blue Waves 35. On first down, Catapano handed the ball to Robison, who pitched it to Ris, who then launched a spiral from the 40 to a wide-open Spillane for a touchdown with 1:37 left in the half.
“It’s a play we’ve practiced,” Stanley said. “We picked a great time to use it. It was designed to go down one sideline to DeMeo [Dylan] or the other to Spillane, and Ris made a great read and threw a perfect pass to Nick.”
Spillane (50 yards), Ris, Robison and DeMeo all had two receptions. Senior Mike DeLeo paced the ground attack with 62 yards. Catapano, who also starred in the punting game by landing two inside the Riverhead 5-yard line, finished the campaign with 36 touchdowns and three interceptions.
“This was our dream,” Catapano said. “To bring the first Long Island championship to Carey is really amazing.”
The Seahawks limited Riverhead to 107 total yards in the first half and threatened to post their fifth shutout of 2013 before the Blue Waves started to make things interesting in the fourth. Ryun Moore (126 yards rushing) busted his longest run of the game — 30 yards — to set up quarterback Cody Smith’s 14-yard touchdown pass to Jaron Greenidge with 9:21 remaining.
After a Carey turnover, Riverhead drove inside the red zone with less than three minutes left but failed to convert a crucial fourth-and-7 from the Seahawks 9 when Moore met a swarm of defenders after catching a screen pass at the line of scrimmage.
“Our defense was relentless all season, and our offense was unstoppable,” Lucito said. “We had it all.”