Berths in the 25th Long Island Championship are at stake this weekend, putting a silver tinge on the eight county championship games. But the matchups at Hofstra and Stony Brook are pure gold.
Seven undefeated teams, including defending county champions Farmingdale, Seaford and Sayville, will put their perfect seasons on the line in what is expected to be superb weather conditions.
Farmingdale (10-0) vs. Freeport (9-1), Thursday, 7 p.m. at Hofstra: Expect some offensive fireworks as both teams average more than 40 points per game. The Dalers feature shifty running back Jordan McLune (1,527 yards, 32 touchdowns), who rushed for 390 yards and seven TDs last week. The Red Devils’ diversified offense is directed by quarterback Rashad Tucker (1,187 yards passing, 827 rushing). Farmingdale won the regular-season meeting, 31-20.
Floyd (9-1) vs. Ward Melville (6-4), Friday, 7 p.m. at Stony Brook: The Colonials hope their stingy defense (13.4 ppg) can slow down the upstart Patriots and their dangerous receivers Eddie Munoz and John Corpack, favorite targets of Wes Manning (1,494 yards). Nick Silva (1,298 yards) is Floyd’s best offensive threat and Greg Amato anchors an experienced line. Floyd won the regular-season meeting, 34-14.
Garden City (10-0) vs. Carey (8-2), Saturday, 12:30 p.m. at Hofstra: Chris Mixon (19 touchdowns) scored 23 points in the Trojans’ win over Long Beach last week and is a force on GC’s defense, which allows only 6.7 ppg. Tyler DeMeo (813 receiving yards), caught two big TDs in a tough win over Elmont last week. Garden City won the regular-season meeting, 28-12.
West Islip (10-0) vs. Half Hollow Hills West (8-2), Saturday noon at Stony Brook: The Lions survived last week’s dogfight against Bellport, 17-14, on a late sack by Tim Mullane, and beat the Colts, 16-13, in the regular season. But Hills West QB Gerald Filardi threw for 367 yards and five TDs in last week’s win over North Babylon and has weapons, including WR Cam Jordan (786 yards), who is a 6-4, agile target. QB Jake Guercio makes West Islip go.
Wantagh (10-0) vs. Roosevelt (8-2), Friday 7 p.m. at Hofstra: The Warriors’ defense yields a Long Island-low 5.7 ppg, and is led by Joe Valenti and Sean Colbert. Wantagh won the regular-season meeting 28-0. The Rough Riders have two 1,000-yard rushers in Kevon Hall and Corey Bull, who had a game-clinching 65-yard punt return TD last week.
Sayville (10-0) vs. East Islip (8-2), Thursday, 7 p.m. at Stony Brook: Record-setting QB Jack Coan (1,919 yards, 29 TDs, 74-percent completions; 658 rushing yards, 10 TDs) leads Long Island’s highest-scoring offense (40.8 ppg), which overshadows a superb defense that allows only 6.9 ppg. That could be the difference against East Islip and its elusive QB Kyle Fleitman (1,558 yards rushing, 17 TDs). The Golden Flashes won the regular-season meeting, 34-13.
Seaford (10-0) vs. Carle Place/Wheatley (8-2), Saturday, 4 p.m. at Hofstra: Run, run, run. That’s the game plan and story line for both teams. Danny Roell (1,977 yards, 20 TDs) leads the Vikings. CPW is riding high after the first two playoff wins in program history, and is led by quarterback Chris Kelly and running back Tziah Albert. The Wild Frogs ran for 408 yards last week. Seaford won the regular-season meeting 28-14.
Babylon (10-0) vs. Shoreham-Wading River (8-2), Saturday, 4 p.m. at Stony Brook: This is a rematch of a thrilling regular-season game won by Babylon in overtime. The Panthers are tough on D and are led on both sides of the ball by QB/DB Scott Sasso. Chris Gray (1,633 yards rushing, 30 TDs) leads the Wildcats. QB Kevin Cutinella rushed for four TDs last week. SWR has won the last two Long Island Class IV titles.
Holy Trinity (9-1) vs. Iona Prep (7-3), Saturday, 1:30 p.m. at Mitchel Athletic Complex: Umari Taylor (1,907 yards rushing, 26 TDs) has emerged as an elite back for the Titans, who last won the AA title in 2008. The teams did not meet in the regular season.
BOB HERZOG (82-31)
GREGG SARRA (81-32)
ANDY SLAWSON (78-35)
40 Dylan Laube, Westhampton
32 Jordan McLune, Farmingdale
30 Chris Gray, Shoreham-Wading River
29 Tyler Ammirato, Miller Place
26 Brandon Sobotker, North Babylon
26 Umari Taylor, Holy Trinity
21 Mike Valentino, Mepham
20 Petey LaSalla, Rocky Point
20 Danny Roell, Seaford
19 Kyle Fleitman, East Islip
19 Chris Mixon, Garden City
2,152 Dylan Laube, Westhampton
1,977 Danny Roell, Seaford
1,907 Umari Taylor, Holy Trinity
1,699 Brandon Sobotker, North Babylon
1,633 Chris Gray, Shoreham-WR
1,558 Kyle Fleitman, East Islip
1,527 Jordan McLune, Farmingdale
1,386 Ryan Aughavin, North Shore
1,342 Deyvon Wright, Half Hollow Hills West
1,298 Nick Silva, Floyd
2,764 Aaron Ruthman, Elmont
2,137 Ryan Sheridan, Commack
1,919 Jack Coan, Sayville
1,796 Sam Brown, Long Beach
1,735 Paul Cooper, Kings Park
1,666 Austin Perri, Lindenhurst
1,523 Paul Cooper, Kings Park
1,494 Wes Manning, Ward Melville
1,417 Michael Proios, Mepham
1,360 Kyle Tiernan, Glenn
891 Chester Anderson, Elmont
859 Ronnie Beard, Commack
813 Tyler DeMeo, Carey
794 Jeremy Ruckert, Lindenhurst
786 Cameron Jordan, Half Hollow Hills West
771 Kevin Gersbeck, Miller Place
716 Gavin Buda, Harborfields
695 Lucas Mathieu, Elmont
676 Mike Saleme, Herricks
652 Kevin Murphy, Seaford
COMPILED ANDY SLAWSON