The East Meadow Jets have reached the top of Nassau County's football mountain.
The Jets came from behind to upset Freeport 34-33, thanks in part to 220 all-purpose yards from Dylan Curry.
"The feeling is unbelievable," Curry said. "I have never been prouder to be on a team like I am right now."
Freeport opened the scoring when Isaiah Barnes connected with Leondre Simmon for a 14-yard touchdown pass. Marvin Cajoles blocked the ensuing extra point, and then Robbie Healy responded with his first rushing touchdown of the day.
"It was a true team effort," Healy said. "It's just great how we all stepped up and did our part."
The Red Devils regained the lead early in the second quarter, as Barnes found Jere Brown from 20 yards out. Billy Andrle responded with a 1-yard touchdown scamper to tie the game at 14-14.
On the ensuing possession, Freeport had a touchdown pass taken away because of a holding penalty. On the following play, Robbie Healy picked off Barnes' pass. The very next play, Curry found Healy on a 63-yard bomb to give East Meadow a 21-14 lead at the half.
Freeport took over the game's momentum in the third quarter, as Evan Lapice rushed for two touchdowns to give the Red Devils a 27-21 lead. A botched snap on the extra point attempt kept the Freeport lead at six.
Just before the third quarter expired, Curry and Healy connected again. This time, the pass was from 53 yards away. The Jets had a one-point lead heading into the fourth quarter.
The Red Devils took the lead one more time in the fourth, when Barnes found Simmon for the second time in the end zone. James D'Elia came up with the biggest play of East Meadow's season, as he rushed into the end zone from five yards out to give the Jets a 34-33 lead.
"I knew I needed to make a big play," D'Elia said. "Their defender is fast, and he had me to the outside. I had to cut in, and thankfully, there was a lane for me to score."
This is the first time East Meadow has won a Nassau County Championship since Vincent Mascia led the Jets in 2006. For Mascia, the feeling is just as sweet the second time around.
"I am just so proud of the boys," Mascia said. "We knew we could do this when the season started, and they did a heck of a job today."
East Meadow now advances to the Long Island Championship on Nov. 27 at Stony Brook University against the winner of Sunday's Sachem North vs. William Floyd contest.
"We are really looking forward to the opportunity," Mascia added.Team 1 2 3 4 F East Meadow 7 14 7 6 34 Freeport 6 8 13 6 33
F - Isaiah Barnes 14-yard pass to Leondre Simmon (Ferdy Torres kick blocked)
EM - Robbie Healy 13-yard rush (Joe Martinico kick)
F - Barnes 20-yard pass to Jere Brown (Barnes pass to Brown good for 2-point conversion)
EM - Billy Andrle 1-yard rush (Martinico kick_
EM - Dylan Curry 63-yard pass to Healy (Martinico kick)
F - Barnes 27-yard pass to Evan Lapice (Torres kick)
F - Lapice 4-yard rush (Brown pass failed)
EM - Curry 53-yard pass to Healy (Martinico kick)
F - Barnes 23-yard pass to Simmon (Barnes pass failed)
EM - James D-Elia 5-yard rush (Curry rush failed)
Rushing: EM- Curry, 23 carries, 76 yards; Andrle, 17 carries 73 yards, 1 TD; Healy, 13 carries, 59 yards, TD; F- Barnes, 11 carries, 52 yards; Maurice Irby, 2 carries, 44 yards.
Passing: EM- Curry, 4-of-6, 144 yards, 2 TD; F- Barnes, 15-of-26, 320 yards, 4 TD
Receiving: EM- Healy, 2 rec, 116 yards, 2 TD; F- Simmon, 5 rec, 119 yards, 2 TD; Brown, 5 rec, 100 yards, 1 TD
Tackles: EM- Marvin Cajoles, 5.5 tackles; Evan Pantofel, 5.5 tackles; F- Marquis Wells, 10 tackles, 1 sack; Errol Small, 9.5 tackles; Isaiah Hicks, 8.5 tackles.