11/29/13 4:10pm
11/29/2013 4:10 PM

JOE WERKMEISTER PHOTO | The celebration begins for Carey after a 20-6 win Friday night over Riverhead in the Class II Long Island Championship at Hofstra University.

CLASS II Long Island Championship
Carey 20, Riverhead 6

Hofstra University

The Riverhead Blue Waves fell to the Carey Seahawks 20-6 in the Class II Long Island Football Championship at Hofstra Stadium Friday.

It was the second straight year the county champion Waves lost in the Long Island title game.

It’s the first L.I. championship for Carey of Franklin Square, which scored all three of its touchdowns during a nine-minute stretch in the second quarter. The Seahawks hadn’t won a Nassau County title since 1978.

Jaron Greenidge scored Riverhead’s only touchdown on a 14-yard pass from quarterback Cody Smith with 9:21 left in the fourth quarter. The Waves threatened to score again with about two minutes to play, but turned it over on downs five yards from the goal line.

Smith was 21 of 32 passing for 161 yards and the one score. He rushed for 42 yards on 8 carries.

Running back Ryun Moore — filling in for Jeremiah Cheatom, who was academically ineligible — had 20 carries for 126 yards. Moore also had a team-high seven tackles for the Waves.

Riverhead receiver Ryan Hubbard caught eight passes for 71 yards. Teammate Darren Jefferson had seven catches for 57 yards.

Carey quarterback Ray Catapano was 7 of 16 passing for 92 yards and one touchdown. He also scored on a 7-yard scramble.

Seahawks receiver Andrew Ris, who caught the one score from Catapano, also threw for a 35-yard touchdown to Nick Spillane.

Conor Colasurdo of Carey led all players with 8.5 tackles.

Riverhead actually outgained Carey 316 yards to 268.

Read a recap of our live blog below:

 

12/01/12 11:40am
12/01/2012 11:40 AM

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Riverhead halfback Jeremiah Cheatom and quarterback Ryan Bitzer (10) celebrate during the first half of Saturday’s Long Island championship game.

One half, 24 minutes, stood in Riverhead’s way of a Class II Long Island championship. The Blue Waves led 16-7 against Garden City on the back of an epic rushing performance from junior Jeremiah Cheatom, who tallied 201 yards in the opening half at Stony Brook University’s LaValle Stadium.

So often the Long Island championship game has been a nightmare setting for the Trojans, who were 4-9 all-time heading into Saturday.

But on this overcast, chilly afternoon, the Trojans flipped the script in the second half to run off three unanswered touchdowns and win 29-16 in front of a stunned crowd that featured far more blue than maroon.

Riverhead took a 16-7 lead into halftime after a career-long 36-yard field goal by Devrim Kucuk with 1:16 left.

But the Trojans defense bottled up Riverhead’s running game in the second half, loading the box with defenders and daring the Blue Waves to throw on a windy afternoon. The Blue Waves’ passing game — so efficient all season — couldn’t get anything going and the offense completely stalled in the second half.

The 29 points allowed was a season-high for Riverhead. The Blue Waves’ 16 points was their lowest in a game since Oct. 6, which was also their last loss. It was the first time Riverhead was shut out in the second half this season.

Garden City scored on a 24-yard touchdown pass play with 9:02 left in the third quarter when quarterback Brett Stewart hit 6-foot-5 Ed Blatz (7 receptions, 141 yards, 2 touchdowns). The Blue Waves went three-and-out on their first three possessions of the second half and the Trojans finally took the lead when Stewart ran in a bootleg 3 yards for a score with :22.3 left in the third.

Stewart finished the game with 27 carries for 135 yards and two rushing TDs. He was 13-of-23 for 198 yards and two touchdowns through the air.

He ran in another 3-yard touchdown midway through the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach as the Trojans went ahead 29-16.

Garden City, which also defeated Riverhead in the 2003 LIC, closed out the season 11-1. Riverhead, playing in its third LIC, finished the season 9-3.

The Blue Waves, after using their aerial attack in the county championship to defeat North Babylon, opened the game relying nearly entirely on the legs of Cheatom. He responded with a superb first half, surpassing 200 yards for the fourth time this season.

But in the second half the Trojans lined up five linemen and kept the linebackers close to the line to make it difficult for the Blue Waves to keep their running attack going.

Cheatom finished the game with 234 yards on 33 carries. He caught two passes for 12 yards.

Riverhead went ahead 6-0 in the final seconds of the first quarter on a six-yard pass from quarterback Ryan Bitzer to Jaron Greenidge. Garden City answered with a 28-yard touchdown from Stewart to Blatz.

Cheatom scored on a 1-yard run to complete a 77-yard drive with 6:44 left in the first half.

The Blue Waves never found the end zone again.

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Riverhead’s Jaron Greenidge scored a touchdown in the first half against Garden City Saturday.

11/30/12 7:00pm
11/30/2012 7:00 PM

DANIEL DE MATO PHOTO | Ryan Bitzer and the Riverhead Blue Waves will play Garden City Saturday for the Class II Long Island Championship.

When Garden City defeated Wantagh 21-17 Sunday, the Trojans locked up their fourth consecutive Nassau County Division II championship. Trips to the Long Island championship have become the norm for Garden City.

Only they haven’t always ended well.

The Trojans have lost their two L.I. title games (26-21 to Bellport in 2010 and 14-7 to Newfield in 2011) heading into Saturday’s noon showdown with Riverhead at Stony Brook University. [Live coverage will be provided at riverheadnewsreview.com]

The 10-1 Trojans needed to overcome a 10-point deficit late in the third quarter Sunday to make it four straight titles.

Garden City features a versatile quarterback in junior Brett Stewart who is a threat to run and pass. Stewart rushed for 115 yards and a touchdown against Wantagh while also throwing for 120 yards and a touchdown.

The Garden City offense revolves around Stewart so the Riverhead secondary will need to lock down the Trojan receivers to allow the players up front to contain Stewart’s running game. Stewart’s 21 passing touchdowns this season is a school record.

Garden City’s always been known to have a strong defense and this season the Trojans have given up 13.6 points per game.

In Riverhead’s last trip to the Long Island finals in 2008, the Blue Waves defeated Elmont 42-6. This will be the third time Riverhead will play for a Long Island title since the current system was implemented in 1992. The Blue Waves lost 20-0 in 2003 to Garden City.

Garden City is 4-9 all-time in the Long Island championship.

joew@timesreview.com