The air will be quiet over Shuart Stadium on this night, as neither team completed a pass in their semifinal victories last weekend. But both team's in this Nassau IV showdown between No. 1 Roosevelt (10-0) and No. 2 Seaford (8-2) at 7 p.m. on Thursday at Hofstra's Shuart Stadium feature stellar defensive units.
The Rough Riders have four consecutive shutouts and have surrendered a Long Island-low 2.7 points per game, led by defensive end and sack master Raymond Jones and hard-hitting linebacker Rob Hansen. Johnnie Akins is Long Island's leading rusher with 2,363 yards and 30 touchdowns.
Seaford accumulated 200 yards rushing, led by Joe Bongiovi and Pat Bizzarro, just enough to outlast West Hempstead, 10-0, in last Friday's semifinal. The Vikings, back in the county final for the first time since 2010 after winning it four straight times, played Roosevelt tough in Week 3, losing 7-0. Its defense, which allows 7.5 ppg, is led by James O'Hagan.
Suffolk IV final, (1) Babylon (10-0) vs. (3) Glenn (8-3), Thursday, 7:30 p.m. at Stony Brook
Babylon, which averages a Long Island-best 43.7 points per game while surrendering just 9.1, is riding an Island-best 22-game winning streak and is the defending Long Island Class IV champ. The Panthers, led by seniors Jake Carlock (WR/DB), Nick Santorelli (QB/DB), Eric Schweitzer (RB/LB) and Raymond Wardell (WR/DB), defeated Glenn, 36-21 in Week 5, despite falling behind 14-0 in the first three minutes.
Glenn, appearing in the county final for the fifth time in six years, has gotten a big boost lately from sophomore quarterback Wayne White, who rushed for 124 yards and all three touchdowns in the Knight's 21-14 comeback victory over Mount Sinai in the semifinals. The Knights won Class IV in 2010 and 2011.
Nassau III final, (1) Plainedge (9-1) vs. (2) Lawrence (9-1), Saturday, 2 p.m. at Hofstra
There is so much buzz in the air about Saturday's Lawrence-Plainedge county championship game that the anticipation even crosses conference lines. "I can't wait for that game!" said one Nassau coach, enthusiastically. He was from Conference I.
This is a rematch of Plainedge's 36-20 victory in Week IV that forced the defending Long Island Class III champions to revamp their offense, moving Jordan Fredericks from wide receiver to running back, where he has provided much-needed balance to the Golden Tornadoes' offense, which still is headlined by record-setting quarterback Joe Capobianco, who has thrown for 30 touchdown passes and 2,381 yards.
The Red Devils are led by four-year starting quarterback Nick Frenger, a much-improved runner, who scored two touchdowns on the ground in a semifinal win over Floral Park and also threw a pair of scoring passes. Davien Kuinlan and Gianfranco Soriente are superb runners.
Lawrence averages a Nassau-best 42.4 points per game. Plainedge averages 39.3. Let the fireworks begin.
Suffolk III final, (4) Huntington (7-3) vs. (7) Sayville (6-4), Saturday, 7 p.m. at Stony Brook
Sayville's so-called 'rebuilding year' has turned into another reload behind junior running back and sideline-to-sideline linebacker Matt Selts (1,183 yards rushing and a Long Island-best 32 touchdowns, four coming in last week's upset special over No. 1 and previously unbeaten Miller Place). Freshman quarterback Jack Coan, has thrown for 1,552 yards and 16 touchdowns.
While three-time defending county champ Sayville, which defeated Huntington, 44-14 in Week III, is mainly a young team, the Blue Devils have experience. Their top players are seniors -- quarterback Ben Kocis (1,491 yards passing), a two-way threat who has a rocket arm and can run; running back Troy Greene, hot down the stretch, and bruising running back/linebacker Levar Butts.