Plainedge, East Islip is a matchup of dominant teams

That’s all there is to it in a football match.

Both teams were expected to be strong even before the start of the season and both lived up to expectations. Each has some talented players that you will have trouble taking your eyes off, but the teams as a whole are bigger than the sum of their individual parts. And both got better each week in the regular season, grew much better in the playoffs and are now performing at their highest.

The Long Island Class III championship between Plainedge (11-0) from Nassau and East Islip (10-1) in Suffolk is scheduled for Friday at. 16:30 at Hofstra’s Shuart Stadium, where each program must win its second LIC crown. The Red Devils were the Class III champion in 2019; East Islip was Class II Champion in 2007.

“They are good. We are good,” said East Islip quarterback Derek Burrell. “They’ve been working all season for this, and so have we. We’re very confident, and I imagine they are too. We know we’ll have to play our best to beat them. definitely have to play their best to beat us. “

One can look at each team and wonder where the benefits may lie.

Plainedge had five players who were part of the ’19 LIC title list: seniors Thomas Everding, Anthony Morello, Joe Iadevaio, Travis Shaver and junior Joe Cassese

“It’s the biggest game of your life, so you’ll get butterflies,” Everding said. “We have people who have been there, people who know what it takes to win such a match. Experiences with it can be useful. It is the last match of the year and there is a championship at stake. The effort is big.”

“We’ve had a couple of kids who were in that game, so I see the experience as invaluable,” Plainedge coach Rob Shaver said. “When a child goes to a place like this for the first time, they can get a little pie-eyed. When you’ve not been out for something so big, it can be a little overwhelming. So having the kids who’ve been there before is, “I think that’s a good thing for us. They’ve talked to the other kids about it, and their experience has been reassuring for guys who have not played in that game.”

With all due respect to multi-talented Iadevaio, East Islip coach Sal J. Ciampi thinks he may have the best player or two in the competition at Burrell and running back Leo Lopez. Burrell is among the favorites for the Newsday’s Hansen Award given annually to Suffolk’s top player, and he had rushed for 18 touchdowns and thrown for 13 more. Lopez has also rushed for 18 TDs.

“He’s the best player ever to wear an East Islip jersey – and I know it raises some eyebrows,” Ciampi said of Burrell. “He’s an elite athlete with a deep and great understanding of the game. He’s a natural. We moved him to quarterback just before the season started and it’s like he’s been a starting quarterback for years.”

Championship matches are often about which team plays best at the end of the season. There, it is difficult to distinguish between Plainedge and East Islip.

Plainedge was barely challenged in the regular season – only two minutes behind the game against Manhasset – and had four shutouts. In the offseason, it has actually raised its level and surpassed three enemies by 121-0.

East Islip has an average of 40 points per. competition and shifted only in a regular season loss to Sayville. Last weekend, it avenged the loss by taking the golden flashes about the county title. As Burrell said “in the playoffs we became complete and every game we got better and better.”

“We were a great team in 2019 and we had the best player on Long Island,” Morello said, referring to Newsday Thorp Award winner Dan Villari, now in Michigan. “This is a generally better team. We are more athletic. We have more of a bad streak in defense. We succeed because of how we play together as a team.”


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