The Riverhead Blue Waves crashed through the North Babylon Bulldogs, 52-20, winning the Suffolk County Division II Championship and earning the right to face Nassau County Champion Garden City this Saturday.
The #2 Blue Waves rode 28 straight points during the first half to tie, then take the lead for good from the #5 Bulldogs, who had jumped out to an early 6-0 lead on a 21 yard Melijah Pervis run.
"Today was a lot of hard work from the entire season," said a very happy Riverhead Head Coach Leif Shay after the win.
It was all Blue Waves from there on out, though. Riverhead quarterback Ryan Bitzer connected with wide receiver Quinn Funn for a 21 yard touchdown. Funn also picked up another touchdown right away with a four yard fumble return to give the Blue Waves a 14-6 lead.
Bitzer took the lead from there, nailing a 60 yard pass to wide receiver Jeffrey Pittman and then rushing the ball 3 yards for his own TD and a 28-6 lead. It was all part of a big day for the QB, who was 13 for 19 on passes for 291 yards and four touchdowns, including three of those to Funn.
Funn had his own, well, fun – seven receptions on the days for 153 yards and the three aforementioned touchdowns.
"I think they are two of the best skill players on Long Island," Shay said. "I'd lobby for that. They're really great at extending plays."
North Babylon struck back right before halftime with an amazing touchdown on a 30 yard punt return by Connor Slane, leaving the Bulldogs trailing 28-14 at the half.
The Blue Waves rushed in during the second half, outscoring North Babylon to the tune of 24-6. Several misplays, including a few fumbles, turned the ball back over to Riverhead on the last few rally attempts by the Bulldogs.
Riverhead, ranked second in Suffolk's Division II, improves to 9-2 with the win for the 2012 season. North Babylon, ranked fifth, finishes its impressive season with an 8-3 record.
"We are not done yet," Shay told his team, holding up a finger. "There's one more game."
Riverhead will face Garden City at Stony Brook University on Saturday for the Long Island crown.
The Suffolk championship is the first for Riverhead since 2008 – the first since current Stony Brook University Seawolf Miguel Maysonet led the Blue Waves to an undefeated season and the school's only Long Island Championship.