The East Islip varsity football squad started the 2012 season with a resounding roar, thrilling fans in attendance at their Sept. 7 home opener with a bruising 49-0 victory over rivals Copiague.
Ranked only ninth in their Suffolk II division this season, with only two returning starters (TE/DE Casey Stengel and T/NG Dan Hayden), the relatively inexperienced Redmen had something to prove, and prove it they did.
Copiague’s Eagles could do little to stop East Islip running back Matt Walter, who racked up 132 yards in eight carries and scored two TDs, including a crowd-pleasing 54-yard run for a score. Andre Deegan also had an impressive day, with 13 carries for 92 yards and two touchdowns. Quarterback Casey Nolan was solid, going 4-for-6 for 20 yards passing, opening the scoring with a TD on the rush and yielding no interceptions. Erik Adon scored the penultimate TD on a Nolan pass.
East Islip kept Copiague’s offense (the lowest-scoring in the division last year) down to just 70 yards, led by Stengel’s seven tackles (two for a loss) and Kieren Neefeldt’s six-yard fumble return that resulted in another EI touchdown. Pat Valoy also recovered a Copiague fumble.
With Sal J. Ciampi at the helm for his 12th season as EI’s head coach, the confident Redmen clearly showed they believe they can return to the Suffolk County finals.