It was a game that lived up to the worthiness of a county championship as Garden City and Wantagh battled back and forth to the very end.
Garden City held onto the victory 21-17 after a game-ending interception by senior Spencer Bias and grabbed the 2012 Class II Nassau championship.
“What won us the game was our defense,” quarterback Brett Stewart said.
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Stewart himself had two touchdowns, including a 61-yard pass to Bias.
At the start of the second half, Wantagh led 10-7. It seemed that they might be on their way to the upset victory after the Warriors picked off Stewart on first play of the third quarter. The interception would ultimately lead to a Brandon Watson touchdown to give Wantagh a 17-7 lead.
Garden City answered, however, with Stewart's second score of the day.
The game turned when the Trojans recovered a Wantagh fumble during the ensuing kickoff. The turnover led to an 11-yard Justin Guterding rushing touchdown and gave the Trojans a 21-17 lead.
“We were able to get good field position all day and made it easier for our offense to score,” Garden City coach Tom Flatley said.
Following a Wantagh turnover midway through the fourth quarter, it appeared the Trojans had the game in full control as they drove down the field into the Wantagh red zone. They were on the doorstep of another score until Wantagh captain Peter Brasile grabbed an interception and gave the Warriors life.
Wantagh moved the ball into Garden City territory with a little more than one minute remaining, but fell short when Bias picked off quarterback Gerard Roche. Garden City then clinched the county championship title.
“These are the greatest kids in the world,” Wantagh coach Keith Sachs said.
With the county title in its hands, Garden City will look to finish with a Long Island title against Riverhead at Stony Brook University Saturday.