The dream was close to becoming a nightmare on the same field where the Trojans ended Carey’s season in six of the last eight years, including the 2005 and 2010 championship games. In last fall’s semifinal matchup, Garden City rallied for a 22-18 victory on the way to capturing its second L.I. crown in four seasons.
“Both teams brought everything they had,” Ris said. “Chances were at some point, we were going to face some adversity. But we handled it.”
The top-seeded Seahawks, who outscored their first 10 opponents by a combined 416-42, and won 28-0 at Garden City on Oct. 5, trailed for the first time in 2013 when Gerard Smith booted a 27-yard field goal to give the No. 2 Trojans a 16-14 lead with 15 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
“At that point, we were just thinking about what to do to put together a drive,” said Stanley, whose offense managed just three yards on 11 snaps in the third quarter after amassing 221 yards in the opening half, led by Mike DeLeo’s 99. “It was frustrating that we couldn’t run the ball after we did such a good job in the first half. We had to turn to our passing game.”
The winning drive began with 7:05 left, after Thomas Gallant stopped Garden City quarterback Brett Stewart — who had 146 yards and one touchdown rushing, and 170 yards and one touchdown passing — short of a first down just shy of midfield, forcing a punt that rolled to the Carey 16.
Matt Robison gained four yards on first down, then Catapano, who entered the game with a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 32-to-2, completed four consecutive passes. He found Nick Spillane for 10 yards, DeMeo for 26, and Robison for 8 to set up the play that brought the Seahawks a championship that had eluded them since 1978.