Lawrence football team wins Rutgers Cup


Much like all but one of Lawrence’s games, the vote by Nassau coaches to decide the best football team in 2012 wasn’t very close last Sunday at the county awards luncheon at Crest Hollow Country Club.

The Golden Tornadoes, who capped a perfect 12-0 season with a come-from-behind victory over Sayville in the Long Island Class III championship game, were awarded the Rutgers Cup after receiving 39 of 50 first-place votes and totaling 136 points. Garden City, which won the L.I. Class II crown, had eight first-place votes and 89 points. Farmingdale, the Nassau Conference I champs, had three first-place votes and 63 points. Conference IV champion Roosevelt rounded out the voting.

Lawrence, coached by Joe Martillotti and led by All-Long Island selections Joey Capobianco at quarterback, Eddie Robinson at wideout, and Tyler Fredericks at tailback, averaged 48.6 points per game and was vastly improved on defense compared to 2011. It last captured the Rutgers Cup in 2006.

“It’s exciting and nice to be rewarded,” Martillotti said. “It’s the icing on the cake to a great season.”

The Golden Tornadoes blanked Sayville in the second half of the LIC, and after trailing by 13 points at halftime pulled out a 21-20 thriller on Robinson’s interception return for a touchdown with 5:25 remaining. Mike Fragner’s extra point was the difference and the 584th point of the season for Lawrence, which established a new Long Island single-season scoring record.

Capobianco and Robinson established numerous Long Island and Nassau records along the way. Capobianco, who earned the Don Snyder Award, given to the county’s best quarterback, and also the state Class A Player of the Year award, set the Long Island single-season record with 38 touchdown passes. He completed 129 of 166 attempts (77.7 percent) for a Long Island-record 2,609 yards. He also rushed for 423 yards and six scores, and caught a TD pass from Robinson.

“His efficiency was off the charts,” Martillotti said of Capobianco, who is eight touchdown passes away from breaking the all-time mark currently held by recent Sayville graduate Steven Ferreira. “High school kids don’t complete 75 to 80 percent of their passes,” he added. “His natural ability and work ethic is unbelievable.”

Robinson, who won the New York Jets wide receiver award, given to the top pass-catcher in the county, had 19 touchdown grabs to set a Long Island single-season record. He’s verbally committed to Colgate University. His 28 career TD catches tied a L.I. mark, and he’s also the Nassau leader in season (1,156) and career (2,013) yards. “He’s probably the best three-sport athlete we’ve had at Lawrence in a long time,” Martillotti said. 

Fredericks finished a stellar career with 66 touchdowns, including 22 in 2012 despite missing one game. He rushed for 1,567 yards on 149 carries. He verbally committed to Stony Brook University.