Lynbrook used its devastating running attack to claim the Long Island Class III championship, its first since 1992, on Friday night at Hofstra University. The Owls gained 371 yards on the ground in a 42-27 win over Sayville.
Senior quarterback Paul Magloire rushed for 120 yards and three touchdowns, while senior running back Travis Lock gained 174 yards and two touchdowns. Senior running back Mike Kozlakowski gained 77 yards on six carries with a touchdown.
Lynbrook's running attack had its way with Lawrence in the Nassau County title game, and coming into the Long Island championship against Sayville, the Golden Flashes were keying on the run. But Lynbrook's talent on offense proved to be the difference.
"This feels awesome. I mean we worked hard all year and everything just came together perfect," said Lock.
Even with Magloire, Kozlakowski and Lock all getting on the scoreboard in the first half, the Owls found themselves tied at 20 with 2:36 remaining in the half. But Lynbrook would get a big break when Magloire threw a pass that could have been intercepted, but was tipped and found its way into the hands of junior wide receiver Luke Spitzer for a 29-yard gain. Magloire then scored his second touchdown of the game from the 2-yard line, with three seconds left in the half.
But Sayville showed why it took home the Suffolk County championship. Even with Lynbrook's offensive stars playing their top games, Sayville still managed to take a fourth quarter lead when sophomore running back John Haggart, who ran for 123 yards, scored his third touchdown of the game to put Sayville back on top. 27-26.
After Lynbrook was forced to punt on its next possession, Sayville had the ball on its own 36, looking for the score that would lock up the championship. But, senior defensive back Kendall Bruton came up with perhaps the biggest play of the game when he intercepted Sayville All-County quarterback Steven Ferreira and ran the ball back to the 7-yard line.
Lock then scored from three yards out to give the Owls a lead they wouldn't relinquish.
After stopping Sayville on their ensuing possession, Lynbrook looked to put the game away. If there was a play that epitomized the Owls' dominance on the ground, it came on 2nd and 17 from the Lynbrook 17-yard line. Kozlakowski took the handoff and the 6'3'', 230-pound senior ran with a purpose, dragging practically the entire Sayville defense on his back for a 33-yard gain and a first down.
"I knew it was gonna be it for me," said Kozlakowski of playing the last game of his high school career. "I just put it in like it was my last [play]. I knew I had to give up everything I had and just go non-stop," he said.
"We have a great offensive line. It always starts with those kids up front. The backs usually get all the credit, but without the kids up front, none of this would actually ever take place," said Lynbrook head coach Steve LoCicero.
Magloire finished the drive with his third rushing touchdown of the game to give the Owls a 42-27 lead.
"The kids executed the game plan flawlessly after halftime," said LoCicero.
The seconds wound down on the game and the high school football season, with the Lynbrook Owls crowned Long Island Class III champions.
"It was ours," said Magloire. "We just had to work for it and come together as a team, and we did that tonight."