Garden City powers past Mepham


Even when he wasn’t terrorizing Mepham’s defense with his legs, Garden City’s Trevor Yeboah-Kodie found a way to create havoc in last Friday’s Nassau Conference II football championship game at Hofstra.

Early in the second quarter with the top-seeded Trojans in the lead thanks to his 37-yard touchdown run in the first, Yeboah-Kodie took a pitch from quarterback Colin Hart on second-and-12 from the Mepham 31, stopped on a dime and flipped scoring strike to Tyler Wuchte. The electrifying junior tailback finished with 203 yards on the ground and three touchdowns as Garden City cruised to its second straight county title and 23rd consecutive victory, 33-0.

“I was nervous about passing because it didn’t go well in practice,” said Yeboah-Kodie, who also hit Hart for a 14-yard gain on third-and-10 on his first attempt.

Yeboah-Kodie’s dynamics along with a swarming and smothering defense, especially on fourth down, helped the Trojans improve to 11-0 and advance to face North Babylon in the Long Island Class II title game this Friday at Hofstra at 4:30 p.m. Mepham, which lost 34-12 at Garden City on Oct. 28, made its first trip to the county finals since 1993 and finished 8-3.

“You’ve got to tip your cap to Garden City,” Pirates head coach Anthony Cracco said. “We went in with a plan, but we weren’t able to get it done. We got off to a bad start and made too many mistakes offensively.”

Mepham converted on just one of its five fourth-down tries through three quarters and saw the wheels come off early in the third quarter after failing to score on four plays from the Garden City 4 following an interception by Michael Estevez.

“The line has been our strength all year and we were tough to stop on fourth and short,” Cracco said. “We just weren’t able to get the push we normally get.”

Garden City, which led 20-0 at halftime, busted the game wide open on Yeboah-Kodie’s 91-yard touchdown run with 5:40 left in the third. Then, two minutes later, fellow junior running back Justin Coppola went 86 yards to make it 33-0.

“Making the finals as a preseason No. 5 seed was a good run,” Cracco said. “We stayed healthy and the kids did a great job.”