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Huddling Up At Homecoming

Solid turnout for 34th Fall Festival Street Fair

The Garden City Trojans took to the field against Conference rival South Side to cap an exciting and memorable Fall Festival. The Trojans ran their record to 6-1 with a dominating 42-7 victory. The day included a visit from the NFL’s Huddle Shuttle Super Bowl Exhibit, the annual Homecoming Parade and a fantastic Street Fair along 7th Street.

With numerous vendors lining 7th Street underneath the red, yellow and orange leaves downtown Garden City was truly transformed into a fall festival. Whether it was the young boys and girls riding the tram,  playing with balloons or petting the dogs that were up for adoption, there were smiles galore up and down the street. And that was before the parade came down the street.

The parade featured the graduating class of 1963 celebrating their 50th reunion along with the Homecoming King and Queen, various high school clubs, the Girl Scouts and the Garden City Thunder football players. The high school and middle school marching bands entertained the crowd along the parade route while the twirlers and antique cars drew much applause.

The uniqueness of the Huddle Shuttle Super Bowl Exhibit was on display during the fair in parking lot No. 7N with activities both inside and outside the Huddle Shuttle structure. The inside portion included a replica stadium locker room with New York Jets, New York Giants, Super Bowl, and Vince Lombardi memorabilia, as well as a Vince Lombardi Trophy Room, and a broadcast booth. Stations outside in parking No. Field 7N were highly interactive and designed to resemble traditional combine activities. Participants were encouraged to perform basic football drills, including speed and agility, vertical jumps, touchdown and field goal kick plays.

The Huddle Shuttle tour will conclude with an extended stay on Super Bowl Boulevard, the massive, unprecedented fan event on Broadway in Manhattan, from Wednesday, Jan. 29 through Saturday, Feb. 1.

As the Fall Festival was wrapping up, the Garden City boys took to Warren King field and dominated an overmatched South Side Cyclones on both sides of the ball. The Trojans scored on their first possession with a little over eight minutes left in the first quarter and never looked back. After the 34-yard touchdown reception by Tom Wright, Garden City scored on their next five possessions as quarterback Brett Stewart directed the attack in which he only had to throw two completed passes.

Coach Tom Flatley used a power running game to dominate the line of scrimmage with 282 yards on the ground and 4 touchdowns. QB Stewart bulled his way into the end zone for two one-yard scores, while Brian Haeffner used his breakaway speed to burst around left end for a 26-yard touchdown run. And to cap the scoring, Dan Confort bounced an inside run to the outside and ran away from the defense to score his first career touchdown, a 50-yard run.    

Defensively, the Trojans intercepted South Side quarterback Steve Dimare twice, the first resulted in a 15-yard pick six for Matt Greene only seconds after Wright’s touchdown grab in the first quarter. Justin Samardich had the second interception at the end of the first half.

The Garden City front seven had a strong game limiting South Side to only 51 yards on the ground. Leading the way for the defense were Liam McGuiness, Nick Giannone, Conor Byrnes, Matt Greene, Danny Miller and Ryan Blair. The Trojans had two sacks, Stewart and Confort, even though South Side only dropped back nine times to pass.

The bright spot for the Cyclones were two long completions totaling 102 yards including a 72 yard touchdown to Paul Pandolfi late in the game.

Garden City will be on the road at Elmont on November 2nd for their final Conference II game before returning home on Nov. 9 for a first round playoff game.