Jack Murray of Plainedge, left, gets congratulated by teammates Anthony Gentile,...

Jack Murray of Plainedge, left, gets congratulated by teammates Anthony Gentile, center, and Jake Anglim after blocking, recovering and returning a Carey punt for an eight-yard touchdown in the first quarter of the Nassau Conference III football semifinals against Carey at Shuart Stadium on Saturday. Credit: James Escher

To give you an idea how dominant Plainedge was in its Nassau III semifinal against Carey, the running clock began rolling at Hofstra before the midpoint of the second quarter.

The Red Devils hit the trigger, a 35-point lead.

Top-seeded, undefeated Plainedge owned a 21-point cushion before the midpoint of the first quarter. Joe Cassese had three of his four carries for 107 of his 114 yards and two touchdowns in that opening blitz of the No. 4 Seahawks. 

And the Red Devils ultimately ran off with a 49-0 win Saturday on the Shuart Stadium turf. 

“I’m very impressed by how hard they play all the time, whether it’s practice, a game, warmups,” Plainedge coach Rob Shaver said. “Our guys just play so hard all the time. There’s never an off button.”

So the Red Devils (10-0) will try to defend their county title in the final against No. 2 Wantagh (9-1) at 12:30 next Saturday back at Shuart. 

“That’s the goal, but that’s not the major goal. … The goal is to win it all,” Cassese said of claiming a second straight Long Island championship. 

Plainedge claimed a 35-7 win over Wantagh in Week 7.

“We’re going in like we tied last time,” Shaver said. “That’s the best attitude to have.”

The opening drive lasted just five plays. Cassese turned the right corner and raced 42 yards to the end zone. James Corke kicked the PAT (his first of seven) and it was 7-0, 2:58 in.

“It’s always our game plan to come out and strike first and strike hard,” Cassese said.

Then Jack Murray blocked a punt, picked up the football at the 8 and scored — 14-0, 3:51 in.

“I’d say that there’s no weak part to our game,” Murray said. “In any aspect, defense, offense or specials, we’re better than any team we play.”

James Kass ended the following possession by the Seahawks (6-4) with an interception.

Next play: Cassese ran through the middle and zipped 62 yards for a score —  21-0, 6:06 in. 

Caden Morra found Vinny Cavaliere for a 14-yard TD on the first play of the second quarter. Jake Anglim followed with a 35-yard TD run. It was 35-0 with 6:42 left until halftime.

Cue the running the clock.

Anglim then rushed for a 17-yard score. It was 42-0 at the intermission. 

As Shaver put it, “Our backups need their time to play, too, which was good.”

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