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Week 6 football preview: Lindenhurst, West Islip meet in pivotal battle of unbeatens

Lindenhurst RB Jaden Barber takes the handoff to

Lindenhurst RB Jaden Barber takes the handoff to the outside for 60 yards on Saturday, October 12, 2019 at Centereach High School. Credit: George A. Faella

The Lindenhurst football team hosts West Islip for a game between unbeatens in Suffolk II. The showdown takes on even more significance than trying to remain undefeated and grabbing the top seed for the playoff stretch.

It’s become so much more than that.

Since 1992, the Suffolk championship games were always played at Stony Brook University. Thanks to a scheduling conflict, the Suffolk II title game is currently scheduled to be played at the higher seed — and not at Stony Brook. And therein lies the reason why Saturday’s game at 3 p.m. in Lindenhurst is important.

“We’re currently looking at a home field advantage throughout the playoffs scenario because Stony Brook wasn’t available for the Division II title game,” Lindenhurst coach Nick Lombardo said. “With that being said it means this game carries tremendous importance. In the past, a regular season game wouldn’t be as impactful. But this one carries weight — and a lot of it.”

West Islip and Lindenhurst are both 5-0 and mirror images of each other.

“We’re both very good defensive teams with excellent linebackers and we’re solid up front on our lines,” Lombardo said. “It’ll come down to execution.”

Last year, West Islip and Lindenhurst played each other for the first time in 28 years. West Islip won the regular season game 17-14 and Lindenhurst beat the Lions for the title, 21-17.

“Usually you don’t show your full hand in the regular season,” Lombardo said. “But now you might have to empty the playbook because home field is at stake.”

Nassau I

Freeport at Farmingdale, Friday, 6:30 p.m.: No team has been able to slow down Freeport (5-0), which averages 45 points per game. Quarterback Terrance Edmond threw for three scores and ran for another in last week’s 54-13 win over Baldwin. Farmingdale (4-1) gave up two fourth quarter touchdowns in a 25-21 loss to Massapequa. The Dalers offense has been potent behind halfback Kevin Wilson and quarterback Nick Lundin but it will take an extraordinary effort to keep pace with the Red Devils' juggernaut.

Suffolk III

East Islip at Westhampton, Friday, 6 p.m.: Both teams are 4-1. East Islip’s defense had a second-half meltdown in a 28-27 loss to Sayville. The Golden Flashes erased a 20-point halftime deficit for the comeback win at East Islip. Westhampton also lost to Sayville at home, 34-27, in overtime. It was the Hurricanes only regular-season loss in the last three years. Westhampton halfback Jaden AlfanoStJohn (13 TD this season) had all three touchdowns in last week’s 21-14 win over Half Hollow Hills West. Quarterback Brandon Miller tied an East Islip school record when he threw for five scores in a 44-14 win over Eastport-SM. Boomer Esiason threw for five TD’s in a 57-0 win over Connetquot in 1977.

Nassau III

Mineola at North Shore, Saturday, 2 p.m.: North Shore (4-1) is coming off a big win over Bethpage, its third win in a row. North Shore has found a nice blend of the run and pass with Will Scarola and Jack Ledden. Mineola (3-2) lost an overtime heartbreaker to Valley Stream North, 13-7, a week ago.

Suffolk II

North Babylon at Connetquot, Friday, 6 p.m.: North Babylon opened the season with a 21-0 loss at Lindy and then reeled off four straight wins. Connetquot lost a heartbreaker to Lindy, 20-19, in Week 2, when a two-point conversion went awry. The Thunderbirds have lost two in a row, including 41-35 to Bellport, which hadn’t won through the first four games of the season. The Thunderbirds defense has yielded 41 points in each of the last two weeks. North Babylon will use halfback Dylan Diaz behind a stout offensive line to try and run over the T-Birds front.

Suffolk IV

Port Jefferson at Bayport-Blue Point, Saturday, 1 p.m.: Two excellent quarterbacks square off in a pivotal divisional game. Port Jeff’s Sam Florio has returned from an early-season injury and lit up opposing defensive units. Florio accounted for 361 all-purpose yards and four touchdowns in a blowout of Glenn. Bayport quarterback Luke Schartner has the Phantoms averaging 28 points per game. But the key may rest with the Bayport defense, which has allowed 12 points per game, the fewest points in the division.

GREGG SARRA (40-15)

Hauppauge

Bayport-Blue Point

Freeport

Sewanhaka

Whitman

Newfield

Kings Park

Hampton Bays

Floral Park

North Shore

Ward Melville

Patchogue-Medford

Centereach

North Babylon

Smithtown West

ANDY SLAWSON (40-15)

Hauppauge

Port Jefferson

Freeport

Sewanhaka

Whitman

Newfield

Kings Park

Hampton Bays

Floral Park

North Shore

Commack

Patchogue-Medford

Centereach

North Babylon

Bellport

ROGER RUBIN (42-13)

Rocky Point

Port Jefferson

Freeport

Sewanhaka

Whitman

Newfield

Kings Park

Hampton Bays

Floral Park

North Shore

Ward Melville

Patchogue-Medford

Centereach

North Babylon

Bellport

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