There's eight games on the weekend docket in Nassau County (nine if you include Holy Trinity), and we're going to preview all of them here on the High School Football blog.
We'll start with the Conference I semifinals this evening at Hofstra. Later tonight, we'll preview Friday's Conference III semis, and Friday afternoon we'll take a look at Saturday's Conference II and IV matchups.
In Wednesday's paper, Gregg Sarra, Andy Slawson, Bob Herzog, MSG Varsity's Carl Reuter and myself picked all 19 playoff games on the Island this weekend (8 Nassau, 8 Suffolk, three CHSFL). All five of us picked both Freeport and Oceanside to win later today.
No. 1 Freeport (8-1) vs. No. 5 Syosset (5-4), 4 p.m. on Thursday — The Braves had a record-setting day through the air last week, as Daniel Ventricelli threw a Nassau playoff record five touchdowns, including four to James Cohan, who hadn't caught a TD pass since Labor Day. Ventricelli will be making just his fourth start today. Syosset may put up some points, but it'll have trouble keeping up with a Red Devils offense that has scored at least 41 points in its last six games. Dan Olivier has three straight 100-yard rushing games. He ran for 170 and two touchdowns when Freeport beat Syosset 41-7 in Week 5. Will this one be closer than that? Probably. Can Syosset spring the upset? Doubtful.
No. 2 Oceanside (8-1) vs. No. 3 Farmingdale (7-2), 7:30 p.m. on Thursday — So in case you hadn't heard, Tyler Heuer (pictured above) is good at football. Tonight he'll look to add to his Nassau record 33 touchdown passes against a Farmingdale team that was only able to advance after MacArthur missed a field goal with under a minute to play last week. Heuer accounted for five touchdowns (three passing, two rushing) when Oceanside beat Farmingdale 41-17 in Week 5. Expect more of the same tonight. For the Dalers to hang in, they'll need to control the clock with running back Kevin Wahl.
See ya'll at Hofstra in a few hours!