Two of the key components in Syosset's run to the school's first Long Island Class I championship have been unstoppable this season. Quarterback Will Hogan has thrown for 730 yards and wide receiver Michael Elardo has caught a Long Island-leading 26 passes for 388 yards for the Braves, who are off to a 3-0 start.
The dynamic duo keyed a 40-39 win over Massapequa and Hogan threw for four scores in a big win over Plainview JFK last week. They will need another stellar performance Saturday afternoon when the Braves host Farmingdale in a Nassau I showdown of unbeatens at 3 p.m. in a game that was moved to the Mitchel Athletic Complex.
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"We lost a great deal of players to graduation and an All-Long Island player to injury and our staff continues to get our guys ready for big games," Syosset coach Paul Rorke said. "We've been together for a long time and they've really done the job. We have a bunch of young guys playing very well."
Rorke's assistants Mike Murtha, Spencer Meehan and Ray DeLuca have molded the young Braves around the excellence of Hogan and Elardo. The Braves will have their work cut out for them against undefeated Farmingdale (3-0), which has run over three opponents behind halfback Jordan McLune.
Inclement weather is expected all weekend but Rorke says it will not dictate his game plan.
"We can't base the offense solely on weather," Rorke said. "Elardo is tough to cover in any conditions. He's exceptional, even in double coverage. I don't know that I've seen someone quite like him."
Garden City at MacArthur, Friday night, 6 p.m.: Garden City's 38-7 win over Carey sent shock waves through Nassau II. MacArthur moving from Nassau I into Nassau II had the same effect. Friday night those offensive powerhouses collide in a pivotal game that will have a major impact on postseason seeding. "We're excepting wet, windy conditions and need to get off to a fast start," MacArthur coach Bob Fehrenbach said. "We have good balance on offense. Garden City's Tim Schmelzinger and Brian Haeffner have been running over everyone."
Floyd at Connetquot, Friday night, 7 p.m.: This is a big swing game for the top-seeded Colonials and Connetquot, who are both 2-1. The rainy, windy conditions could negate the T-Birds passing game and limit the options for quarterback Jack Cassidy. Both teams have speed but a ground game favors the physical Colonials.
Hills West at North Babylon, Saturday, 2 p.m.: Philosophical differences in ball movement at work here. Hills West (2-1) is the quick-strike offense with quarterback Anthony Lucarelli and halfback Alexander Filacouris. North Babylon (3-0) has run well with Jahjuan Winters, who had TD runs of 56 and 52 yards.
Wantagh at Carey, Saturday, 3 p.m.: Wantagh (2-1) has the stingiest defense in Nassau II and Carey is the two-time defending Long Island Class II champion. This game promises to be a defensive struggle. Wantagh is coming off an impressive shutout of Long Beach, which had averaged 46 points.
Plainedge at Roosevelt, Saturday, 3 p.m.: Roosevelt (2-1) was welcomed into Nassau III with what is arguably Long Island's toughest first four-game schedule. The Rough Riders ended Lawrence's 20-game win streak in its opener but last week fell to talented Glen Cove, 39-17. Plainedge is 3-0 but the Red Devils edged Bethpage and Glen Cove.