Long Island football six-pack primer
Nassau Conference II semifinal: Wantagh vs. MacArthur, 10:00 a.m.
Conference II has been up-for-grabs since Day 1 of the regular season. MacArthur comes into the semifinals as one of the conference's hottest teams and winners of seven in a row, including a Week 8 unseating of previous undefeated Garden City. The second-seeded Generals had to work for its quarterfinal victory, but eventual got past Elmont, 22-16 last week. Quarterback Gerard Cunningham went 8-for-15 and passed for 160 yards, including the game-winning throw to Brendan Smith with 2:06 left in the game for the victory.
Wantagh comes into the semifinals as the third-ranked team in Conference II with a 7-2 mark on the season. The Warriors had little problem disposing of Mepham in the quarterfinal round with a 33-7 victory. Brandon Watson caught five passes for 114 yards and three touchdowns, threw a 37-yard touchdown pass and also had an interception in the win.
Suffolk Division I semifinal: Sachem East vs. Connetquot, 1:00 p.m.
Connetquot took Long Island by storm in 2012. After last season's disappointing 1-7 finish, the T-Birds turned the tables this year by finishing the regular season at 7-1 and taking the top seed in Division I, above such powers like Sachem North and William Floyd. What was more impressive about the T-Birds performance was that they did it all on the road while a new field was constructed. The T-Birds christened their new field in the quarterfinals with a dominant 39-7 win over Ward Melville. Ryan Harvey had 16 carries for 179 yards and scored three touchdowns, while quarterback Brian McKean finished 11/20 for 156 yards and a touchdown in the victory.
Sachem East is rolling thanks to its star running back/linebacker Steven Casali. The Flaming Arrows' success rest on the shoulders of the future University of Massachusetts commit. Sachem East is where it is now following an impressive 18-7 win over a hot Northport team. Casali rushed for 177 yards and two touchdowns in the victory and scored the winning score on a 26-yard dash.
Suffolk Division II semifinal: North Babylon vs. East Islip, 1:00 p.m.
With top-seeded West Islip out of the picture, Division II is up for grabs in Suffolk County, and East Islip is right there in the thick of things. The second-seeded Redmen are now one of the top teams in Division II to make a run for a trip to Stony Brook University. East Islip had a very convincing 23-0 shutout victory over Smithtown West last week in the quarterfinals. The defense was on point as it intercepted five passes, while the offense exploded for 17 points in the fourth qquarter for the victory.
North Babylon has consistently proved to be a force in the Suffolk County postseason. The 6-3 Bulldogs are looking for another trip to the Suffolk County finals. They unseated Smithtown East in the quarterfinals with a 35-14 victory, where Melijah Purvis ran for a career-high 317 yards and three touchdowns on 13 carries in the victory.
Nassau Conference II semifinal: Carey vs. Garden City, 1:30 p.m.
This as close of a rivalry as you can get in Conference II. The Seahawks and Trojans have been engaged in some fierce battles over the past few seasons and Saturday's meeting looks to be just the same. The Trojans enter as the top seed in Conference II with an 8-1 mark. The Trojans, traditionally a run-based team, have addede the spread offense to their arsenal and it has looked to pay many dividends. Garden City breezed through the quarterfinals with a 42-7 victory over Bellmore-JFK last week. Brett Stewart rushed for 111 yards on eight carries and threw for 113 yards and two touchdowns - both to Ed Blatz in the first half for the victory.
Carey is a very young team compared to past squads and have exceeded expectations in 2012. After quarterback Andrew Ris went down with a broken collarbone, junior Ray Catapano stepped in with ease and has taken control of the offense. Catapano was perfect in his team's 35-13 quarterfinal victory over Long Beach, completing all seven passes he threw for 206 yards and three touchdowns in the win.
Nassau Conference IV semifinal: Valley Stream North vs. Seaford, 5:00 p.m.
Seaford is one of four teams left on Long Island that have yet to lose in 2012, and they look to keep that trend going. The undefeated Vikings had a strong 41-10 quarterfinal victory over Mineola last week. Nicky Fischetti, starred for Seaford as he ran 26 times for 159 yards and three touchdowns in the victory. Seaford's success rides on the success of its star running back.
Valley Stream North has quietly become a team to watch in Conference IV. The Spartans erupted for a big 61 points in a 61-40 quarterfinal victory over Locust Valley last week. Billy Patsos had five touchdowns and rushed for 285 yards in the win to get North to a Hofstra meeting with Seaford.
Nassau Conference IV semifinal: West Hempstead vs. Roosevelt, 8:30 p.m.
The Conference IV nightcap will prove to be an exciting affair as No. 2 West Hempstead and No. 3 Roosevelt square off. Both teams feature some dynamic runing backs that will look to put up big numbers on the new turf at Shuart Stadium. The Rams of West Hempstead are led by Trayvon Hall, who last week in a 41-7 win over Clarke had 12 carries for 167 yards and two touchdowns in the victory. Also very close behind was Enrique McFarlane was not far behind with eight carries for 150 yards and two touchdowns of his own.
Roosevelt has Nassau County's leading rusher in Johnnie Akins, as well as another talented back in Marquell Saunders. Last week in Roosevelt's 44-0 quarterfinal victory over Island Trees, the duo combined 275 rushing yards on 16 carries for two touchdowns. Earlier this year, Akins rushed for 378 yards in a Week 6 win over Locust Valley.