Football: Blue Waves set to face Garden City for L.I. title

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]

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.

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