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2011 Empire Challenge: Long Island Officially The Greatest Part Of New York, Wins 17-14

I know I had nothing to do with Team Long Island's 17-14 victory over Team NYC in the 2011 Empire Challenge, but all the same, I dedicate this victory to my mom who grew up in Long Island. We did it, of the world.

It was a comeback win for the ages, or at least the very recent ones, as LI overcame NYC's lead with 3:30 remaining to get revenge on last year's loss. Long Island leads the all-time series 8-6.

Once again it was the sacking of an incoming Syracuse quarterback that sealed the victory for the other team. This time is was when game MVP Mike Kozlakowski barreled through the NYC line to sack Terrell Hunt with 2:43 left in the game.

NYC lineman Wayne Williams shows the kind of single-minded focus towards game sponsor Outback that I wish our athletes would show towards Chipotle sometimes...

"I’m never eating Outback Steakhouse again...Way too much steak."

Unfortunately, this also means three SU recruits were on the losing end of things Tuesday night, including Brandon Reddish.

"We went into halftime and we thought we stepped it up big in the second half," said Syracuse-bound receiver Brandon Reddish, the Daily News player of the year from Fort Hamilton. "It hurts. It just slipped away from us."

Perhaps there was one more future Syracuse player in the mix Tuesday night. Just like how the Orange swooped in and nabbed Jason Bromley last year, they've got their eye on Rasheem Stroud, a 6-foot-2, 200-pound outside linebacker/defensive end. Stroud, brother of Rutgers' WR Keith Stroud, is working out his academics. If he can, he's got interest from Syracuse, Rutgers and West Virginia.