There was a changing of the guard at the top of Nassau II last season, when Carey dethroned four-time defending county champion Garden City by beating the Trojans, 20-16, in a tense title game. The Seahawks, who went on to win the Long Island championship and Rutgers Cup, are still flying high and carry a 17-game winning streak into Saturday's matchup of 5-0 teams at 2 p.m. in Franklin Square.
"We always know when we play Garden City we're playing a well-coached football team with great athletes and a winning tradition," Carey coach Mike Stanley said. "You have to play your best."
Carey has been doing just that so far, led by senior running backs Mike DeLeo, Conor Colasurdo and Nick Spillane. "It's great that we can distribute the ball in different directions," Stanley said.
Garden City has firepower, too, led by running back Brian Haeffner and quarterback Tim Schmelzinger, a dual threat. "They have plenty of guys who can handle the ball," Stanley said.
Don't forget the defenses. Garden City is typically stingy, allowing a Nassau-best 8.6 points per game. Carey isn't far behind at 9.8.
Plainedge (5-0) at Lawrence (5-0), Saturday, 2 p.m.: This is another huge matchup of Nassau III unbeaten teams that will likely determine the top seed for the county playoffs. It's the third season in a row that the Golden Tornados and Red Devils enter their regular-season contest with perfect records. And it features Long Island's top two scorers -- running quarterback Davien Kuinlan (18 touchdowns) and running back Jordan Fredericks (17) and two potent offenses. Plainedge is averaging 43.4 points per game and Lawrence 41.4.
Freeport (4-1) at Baldwin (5-0), Saturday, 2 p.m.: This rivalry dates to 1924. It is one of the oldest and fiercest on Long Island. Freeport leads the series 45-29-1 and has won five of the last six, including last year, 21-6. The Bruins, a No. 8 seed in Nassau I in the preseason, feature big-play back Matt Eberhardt while the Red Devils are led by running back D'monte Woody (12 TDs) and sophomore quarterback Rashad Tucker.
Locust Valley (5-0) at Roosevelt (4-1), Saturday, 2 p.m.: Locust Valley barely kept its Nassau IV unbeaten season alive last week when Owen Trepeta intercepted a two-point conversation pass with no time on the clock to hold off Clarke, 21-20. It only gets tougher for the Falcons this week against the defending county champs. Shamari Kirkpatrick leads the Rough Riders with 15 touchdowns; John Pedranghelu has scored nine times for LV.
Sachem East (5-0) at Brentwood (1-4), Saturday, 1:30 p.m.: Look who is undefeated in Suffolk I -- Sachem East, which entered the season as the No. 11 seed. The Flaming Arrows have a tough defense that surrenders only 10 points per game, excellent special teams and a revived offense directed by quarterback Javon Abraham.
East Islip (3-2) at Riverhead (4-1), Saturday, 2 p.m.: This is a big game in deep, balanced Suffolk II, where Bellport is the lone unbeaten team. East Islip has its usually tough defense (10.1 ppg) and features quarterback Jack Hannigan. Riverhead is dangerous when Ryun Moore (10 touchdowns) gets running room.
Stepinac (4-0) at St. Anthony's (3-1), Friday night, 7 p.m.: After last week's loss to Iona Prep, the host Friars can't afford another loss if they want to earn the top seed for the CHSFL playoffs. St. Anthony's must contain Stepinac's passing game, which has produced 12 TDs, but hopes to have star running back Jordan Gowins (12 TDs) back from a hamstring injury.