Long Island football county finals preview
Ten football titles will be decided this weekend. St. Anthony's will look to capture its 10th crown in 11 years in the CHSFL. Kellenberg returns to the CHSFL's AA title game where it fell a year ago. And eight public school titles will be decided in Nassau and Suffolk. The fun starts tonight in Shuart Stadium at Hofstra University at 7 p.m. and concludes in LaValle Stadium at Stony Brook University on Sunday afternoon.
Thursday, November 17
Suffolk Division IV final -- Glenn (9-1) vs. Amityville (9-1), Stony Brook, 7:30 p.m.: Will one of these defenses step up or will the high-powered offenses dominate? Glenn quarterback Rich Czeczotka has had a phenomenal year and is an extremely accurate passer. Da’rell Hatcher’s explosive running keys a fast, diverse offense for the Warriors and QB Sean Walters. Amityville won 42-28 during the regular season.
Nassau Conference IV final -- Roosevelt (8-2) vs. East Rockaway (6-4), Hofstra, 7 p.m.: East Rockaway eliminated Locust Valley, the top-seed in the conference, the second win over the Falcons in four weeks. Can head coach Russ Pajer find a way to stop Roosevelt’s standout rusher, Erin Parker. As Parker goes, so goes Roosevelt.
Friday, November 18
Suffolk Division II final -- East Islip (8-2) vs. Newfield (7-3), Stony Brook, 7 p.m.: Both teams come in hot, but East Islip is sizzling as it rides an eight-game win streak led by two-way star Tyler Rigo. Newfield’s realigned offense seems to feature a new star each week. Last week it was Julian Santiago, who rushed for 201 yards and three scores in an upset of top-seeded West Babylon. This promises to be a hard hitting defensive battle where turnovers key the win. East Islip beat Newfield, 21-14 in week 6 and the Wolverines have reeled off four straight wins.
Nassau Conference II final -- Garden City (10-0) vs. Wantagh (9-1), Nassau II, Hofstra, 7 p.m.: It can be a different hero every week for the Trojans, but in the playoffs their top runners have been taking over. Mark Ellis had two touchdowns in a semi win over Carey. He also had two interceptions, one returned for a touchdown. Wantagh has just one loss this season, to Garden City, and the Warriors are looking for revenge. Brian Von Bargen rushed for two touchdowns in a win over Elmont.
CHSFL AAA final -- St. Anthony's (9-0) vs. Stepinac (9-2), Mitchel Field, 7 p.m.: The Friars will attempt to clinch their 10th championship in 11 years and their third in a row against 2010 AA champion Stepinac. St. Anthony’s has overcome a multitude of injuries to key backs (season-ending injury to Dariyan Riley). The defensive line has taken over games as the Friars have battled through close wins, including last week’s 14-10 win over Iona Prep. Stepinac lost to St. Anthony’s 55-29 this season.
Saturday, November 19
Nassau Conference I final -- Freeport (9-1) vs. East Meadow (9-1), Hofstra, 4 p.m.: Isaiah Barnes threw for three touchdowns and ran for another two and Evan Lapice's 55-yard interception return for a touchdown sealed the Red Devils' win over a dangerous Oceanside in the semis. East Meadow can score with the best of them. Running back Robbie Healy has scored five touchdowns in back-to-back weeks for a Jets team that as averaged over 45 points per game. Freeport, the two-time defending Class I champion, is primed for another LIC run.
Nassau Conference III final -- Lawrence (9-1) vs. Plainedge (7-3), Hofstra, 12:30 p.m.: Beware of the terrifying trio of the Fredericks brothers, Ryan, Tyler and Jordan. They key Lawrence's high-flying offense behind sophomore quarterback Joe Capobianco. Lawrence beat Plainedge, 56-40, in a shootout this year. But after beating top-seeded Bethpage in the semis, Plainedge is thinking upset. The Plainedge defense has allowed just three points in its last four games. Meanwhile, Ralph Caccavale is a dynamic running back, capable of huge yardage after contact.
CHSFL AA final -- Kellenberg (4-6) vs. Fordham Prep (5-5), Mitchel Field, 1 p.m.: The Firebirds are coming off a stirring performance by QB Matt McDaniel, who spearheaded a 20-point comeback in Kellenberg's 21-20 win over Holy Trinity last week. McDaniels had 22 carries for 217 yards including the game-winning fourth quarter TD. Kellenberg returns to the AA final - the same stage where they fell to Stepinac last year - and take on Fordham Prep, who defeated the Firebirds 29-28 this year.
Sunday, November 20
Suffolk Division III final -- Sayville (10-0) vs. Westhampton (8-2), Stony Brook, 12 noon: With record-setting QB Steven Ferreira leading the way, the Golden Flashes are the only unbeaten public school team in Suffolk. The defending Suffolk III champs also feature elusive wide receivers James Rupp and Thomas Hannan. Westhampton has a quick, hard-hitting defense led by Dan Gomez, who is also a prolific running back and kicker.
Suffolk Division I final -- Sachem North (9-1) vs. Floyd (8-2), Stony Brook, 4 p.m.: Same time this year? For the third straight season, these two teams are meeting in the Suffolk I title game. In the previous two years, the Flaming Arrows won the regular-season meeting and lost in the playoffs. The Colonials won on Oct. 15 so is it North’s turn? Two Hansen Award candidates are on display in running backs Sachem’s elusive Dalton Crossan and Floyd’s speedy Stacey Bedell (Floyd).