Before last season and even now, Lou Filippelli had always been one of the biggest kids on the team. Now he was under center for the first time — a former lineman learning a new position in a new offense.
Two seasons later, Filippelli’s transformation wasn’t just complete; it was borderline miraculous. The senior threw for another 357 yards to set a new Section 1 single-season passing record in Friday’s 45-33 loss at Harrison.
“This definitely came as a surprise,” said Filippelli, who played guard and defensive end before switching to quarterback last season. “I definitely put a lot of hard work in in the offseason. So did my teammates. This year, we were in a lot of close games. Obviously the results weren’t what we wanted and we didn’t accomplish what we hoped to, but everybody on our team played as hard as they could.”
Filippelli started his night 0 for 7, but he entered the game needing just nine yards to pass Rye’s Andrew Livingston, Section 1’s all-time leading passer, who also set the single-season mark last year. Filippelli nosed in front of Livingston on his eighth pass when he completed a crossing route to Matt Grotta for exactly nine yards.
Filippelli went on to complete 26 of 51 passes. He threw for three touchdowns and rushed for two more, but it was that nine-yard pass to Grotta that resulted in cheers from his teammates.
“After Grotta caught that pass, there was a little confusion going,” he said. “After they announced it, my teammates congratulated me. It was a great moment.”
The 6-foot, 205-pound Filippelli was busy all night. He finished his senior season with 2,595 yards, averaging 288.3 yards per game.
The Bobcats ended the season just 1-8, but lost five of those games by a touchdown or less, mostly because of the production of their passing game.
“I’m definitely very happy with this accomplishment. It wasn’t under the circumstances we wanted, but it was a total team effort,” Filippelli said. “The offensive line, the receivers, everybody contributed to make this happen.”