For the first time in 35 years, they’re celebrating a Carey High School football championship in Franklin Square.
Trailing for the first time all season and without a yard of offense through the first 17 minutes of the second half, the Seahawks rallied late in the fourth quarter to beat four-time defending champion Garden City, 20-16, in the Nassau County Conference II title game last Friday before a crowd of nearly 5,000 at Hofstra’s Shuart Stadium.
Carey drove 84 yards on five plays, and won the game on quarterback Ray Catapano’s 36-yard touchdown pass to Dylan DeMeo with 5:15 remaining. “The play was designed to go left, but nothing was open so I rolled to my right,” said Catapano, who completed 13 of 23 attempts for 142 yards and three touchdowns with one interception. “The line gave me time to throw, and I saw Dylan get behind his man. I put it up, and he came down with a great catch.”
Carey (11-0) advanced to its first-ever Long Island Class II championship game, in which it will face Riverhead (10-1), which repeated in Suffolk Division II, at Hofstra this Friday at 4:30 p.m.
“We expected nothing less from Garden City,” Seahawks head coach Mike Stanley said. “Beating that team twice in one season is incredibly difficult.
“I’m so proud of our guys,” he added. “We’ve got such a special group. They never quit, and found a way to finish under pressure.”
Andrew Ris, who began last season as Carey’s quarterback but converted to receiver and then missed the last six games with a shoulder injury, played a major role in the victory, with a pair of touchdown receptions in the first half and an interception at the Seahawks’ 33-yard line with 2:43 remaining to end Garden City’s final possession.
“It’s an incredible feeling,” Ris said. “It’s something we’ve all been working for and dreaming about.”