The Garden City football team rarely loses. The Trojans have dominated the Nassau Conference II since the start of the Long Island Championships in 1992.
Trojan horses get a record 19th appearance in the big show. They have eight Long Island titles, more than any program in any classification.
Year in and year out, Trojan horses reload and return to work.
Garden City has been Newsday’s top-ranked major school team since the start of the season. They are 11-0 and score 45 points per. match with a first team offense that usually ends the matches after the first half.
And not to be overshadowed is the Trojans’ stingy defense, which allows only four points per game. match.
Garden City coach David Ettinger more often than not finds himself coaching the other half of matches blowing opponents and trying not to break 42-point skewed scoring policies in Nassau.
Ettinger does not have to worry about that policy this week as it is not found in LIC games.
But there is an added incentive for Garden City. There is only one team in the last 40 years with multiple wins and a winning record against Garden City: Bellport, the Suffolk Division II champion.
Garden City and Bellport (10-1) meet for the LI Class II Championship at Stony Brook University on Saturday at After a three-point loss in the season opener, Bellport has discarded 10 wins in a row.
These two programs have proud traditions. They have met each other four times in LIC. Bellport has won all four.
“You’re talking about programs that are rich in winning traditions,” Bellport coach Jamie Fabian said. “There’s going to be a lot of emotion out there this weekend. Expect a good one.”
With the status of excellent half-back Jack Cascadden still in doubt due to a knee injury, Garden City could possibly release quarterback Luke Schmitt’s powerful arm. He has completed 77% of his passes and rarely plays beyond the first half.
Schmitt passed for 11 touchdowns in the regular season and has warmed up in the playoffs with another nine goals. His favorite goal has been Jackson Perisa with nine touchdown catches. Half-back Robert Votruba has filled in admirably for Cascadden and given the Trojans a balanced attack.
“They perform so well and they are very disciplined in everything they do,” Fabian said. “We’ll have to play flawlessly and play our style of hard football.”
Bellport will counter with quarterback Jack Halpin, who has rushed to 893 yards and 15 touchdowns and thrown in an additional 1,011 yards and seven goals. Clippers halfback Donte Phillips has 1,227 yards rushing and 15 touchdowns.
The Clippers’ defense allows an average of 11 points per game, but they have not seen an offensive like Garden Citys. The Trojans are doing exceptionally well. And Schmitt will sit behind the massive offensive line and put the Clippers’ secondary to the test.
The big question: Will history repeat itself?
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