The West Islip Lions are set to host the North Babylon Bulldogs this Friday night. These teams have not faced each other since the 2010 season when North Babylon beat the Lions 13-9 on their own turf. The Bulldogs look to extend their 2-game winning streak in a series that has split the last 6 games.
The North Babylon Bulldogs posted a 7-3 record in 2011 on their way to the Suffolk County Division II playoffs. The Bulldogs advanced to the quarterfinals, where they lost 20-3 to East Islip. Head Coach Terry Manning entered his 22nd season at the helm of the North Babylon football program going into the 2012 season. His team will run the wishbone offense and run the ball a lot. Senior Eric Marzocca returns at quarterback and will be tough to tackle as he stands 6’1”, 225 pounds. The running game will feature a trio of seniors in the backfield. Jordan Myers, Melijah Puruis and Connor Slane will all see carries throughout the season. Purvis ran for 174 yards and 3 touchdowns in last week’s win over North Babylon. Myers added another 115 yards on 11 rushes. The offensive and defensive lines will be anchored by the massive junior Mert Sonmez. Sonmez weighs in at 295 pounds and stand 6’4”. Senior Matt Grassa will lead the linebacking unit for the Bulldogs. The Bulldogs enter the game against the Lions with a 3-2 record and are tied in 4th in Division II.
The West Islip Lions finished the 2011 season with a 7-2 record and earned a trip to the Division I playoffs before losing to Sachem East in the first round. Head Coach Steve Mileti says that this year’s squad will feature more size and speed on the field. Going into the 2012 season, the Lions switched Divisions and moved to Division II. Junior Sam Ilario will be replacing 3-year starting quarterback Anthony Santo who graduated. Ilario played wide receiver as a sophomore and caught 4 touchdown passes. He will be passing to seniors Nick Aponte and Ryan Wieczorek at the wide receiver positions. Aponte and Wieczorek will also play free safety and corner back, respectively, on defense. Senior Jonathan Stancavage is a 6’4”, 305 pound defensive lineman that will have no problem clogging up opponents’ running game. The defense is rounded out by linebacker Joe Barcia and defensive back Dan Johnson. The Lions are off to a perfect 5-0 start to the 2012 season and are tied for first in Division II of Section 11.
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