Dylan Laube read the defense, threw his arm out and ran as fast as he possibly could straight into the end zone.
It wasn’t the first time the Westhampton senior star found the end zone, nor would it be the last, but Laube’s third-quarter scoring sprint, complete with a Heisman-esque stiff arm, was the highlight of a dominant day as he led the Hurricanes to a 54-26 victory over Lawrence in the Long Island Class III championship game at Stony Brook University on Sunday.
Laube finished with six touchdowns, breaking the Long Island single-season touchdown record and matching the LIC TD mark, as Westhampton captured its first LIC in its first-ever appearance.
“It was a 37-power, so I'm supposed to hit the hole and keep on going,” said Laube, who racked up 220 rushing yards on 25 carries. “I hit the hole and I saw them flying inside. So I bounced outside and I was off to the races. That kind of sealed the game right there, the icing.”
Laube got off to a running start, scoring on runs of two and four yards to give Westhampton, ranked No. 4 in the Tri-State Small School 15 by News 12 Varsity, a 14-point lead with 11:56 left in the second quarter. .
The Hurricanes (12-0) set the tempo from their first drive, sparked by the dominant play of the offensive line. Laube was quick to every hole and Westhampton found a rhythm on the ground, setting Lawrence’s defense back on its collective toes.
“Dylan will tell you [the line has] been doing that all year long,” Westhampton coach Bill Parry said. “They played great and they held their blocks and [Lawerence] is good. Their linebackers are really good and we ran away from them for the most part.”
Lawrence (10-2) got on the board with 7;53 left in the second, as Christian Fredericks found Christian Rodas for a 25-yard strike, but Westhampton simply handed the ball back to Laube.
The New Hampshire-bound running back found the end zone two more times before the break, on runs of 22 and 11 yards, and the Hurricanes went into halftime nursing a 27-7 lead.
“I knew from there on that we were going to pound them every single drive,” Laube said. “Everything was working. I think they underestimated us a little bit. And I don't think they realized how physical or fast we truly were.”
Lawrence, ranked No. 7 in the Tri-State Small School 15, did its best to rally down the stretch, but the Golden Tornadoes struggled to get anything going on offense. The squad saw a 60-yard touchdown pass from Chris Collier to Rodas called back on a holding in the second quarter and the offense never truly hit its stride.
The Golden Tornadoes were held to 164 total rushing yards and the usually explosive Collier was kept in check with 65 yards on 17 carries.
“That's just our regular defense,” said Liam McIntyre, who finished with eight tackles and two sacks. “It's been working all year. We run our base and we run our nickel and it works well. Not many teams can score against us.”
Westhampton didn’t slow down in the second half. Laube opened the third quarter with a 10-yard push straight up the middle, refusing to go down as he shook off a handful of Lawrence defenders, and the Hurricanes padded their lead when Clarke Lewis completed a 64-yard pass to Nolan Quinlan with 5:56 left in the frame.
It was Westhampton’s only pass attempt of the day.
“They were putting 10 in the box and that safety was five yards off the ball, so he's got to make a decision,” Parry said. “Is he going to stop Dylan or is he going to play the pass? He chose to play Dylan.”
Laube wrapped up the frame with history, running 69 yards up the sideline for his fifth touchdown of the game. It was his 46th of the season, breaking North Babylon's Jason Gwaltney previous mark of 45 in 2004.
Laube chipped in one more touchdown - a five-yard dash with 4:46 left in regulation - but he was only concerned with the final score.
“All I wanted was to win the game,” Laube said. “This means the world. I'm so pumped. I love these boys and everything they've done for me.”
Lawrence scored twice in the fourth - on Saquan Stays’ 11-yard run and Rodas’ five-yard run - but it was too little, too late. Westhampton had already run away with the victory.
It was the perfect season for the Hurricanes, a historic run for the program and a dominant performance that will go down in the record books. They’re going to talk about this one for years.
“I don't think I've ever cried from winning something and I just cried on the sideline,” McIntyre said. “It's an incredible feeling, indescribable. It was so much hard work and it feels so good to finally pay off.”