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Changing of guard early in football season

Connetquot charges onto the field before a game

Connetquot charges onto the field before a game against Commack on Friday, Sept. 12, 2014. Credit: Daniel De Mato

It was a weekend filled with surprises. Two of Long Island's defending champions, Sachem North and Babylon, were beaten Friday, the latter loss marking the end of Suffolk's longest winning streak.

And top-seeded Roosevelt, the three-time defending Nassau Conference IV champion, lost to Mineola Saturday for the first time since 2002.

It took a herculean performance by quarterback James Gerstner, who had 441 all-purpose yards, to lead the host Mustangs past Roosevelt, 47-38. Gerstner had five rushing touchdowns and was 11-for-13 passing with a TD.

"It's about time we came out on top against Roosevelt, it's been awhile," Mineola coach Dan Guido said. "We've lost some very close ones over the years. This year we have a lot of very athletic players, lacrosse guys, who make a big difference. We're thrilled and we look like we could have a special year."

Mineola has never played in a Long Island Championship game but after Saturday, this could be the year.

Babylon saw its 25-game winning streak, the fourth longest in Suffolk history, halted by a swarming Shoreham-Wading River defense in a 9-7 loss. The two-time defending Long Island Class IV champions uncharacteristically turned the ball over three times and were held scoreless for three quarters.

Sachem North, the defending Long Island Class I champions, went on the road to play crosstown rival Connetquot for an early-season showdown of Division I contenders. Bohemia, aka New Jack City, hosted Connetquot's 47-21 win over Sachem North.

Junior quarterback Jack Cassidy threw for two scores and ran for one, and junior halfback Jack Richardson rushed for 133 yards and three scores. Speedy Jack Spataro added 86 yards and a 37-yard TD run.

"It's only Week 2," Connetquot coach Mike Hansen said.

He's right, but it's already so exciting.

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