Can Westhampton’s Dylan Laube improve on his spectacular junior season? That daunting task begins Friday at 6 p.m. when the third-seeded Hurricanes host No. 6 Bellport in the Suffolk III opener.
Laube, a Newsday All-Long Island selection, scored 40 touchdowns in 2016, including four kick returns, and rushed for 2,152 yards, 11 of them on runs of more than 45 yards. Laube, who committed to play football at New Hampshire, presents a real challenge for the Clippers, who move down from Suffolk II, where they went 8-2 last season.
Other noteworthy openers in the first full week of Long Island football:
Oceanside at Massapequa, Saturday, 2 p.m.: Top-seeded Oceanside returns seven offensive starters, led by quarterback Tyler Heuer and wide receiver Dylan Judd.
Long Beach at Hempstead, Saturday, 2 p.m.: Hempstead hopes to end a nine-year playoff drought after finishing 4-4 the last two years. The Tigers are led by Dashawn Meadors, a Division I recruit at running back and linebacker.
Lynbrook at Bethpage, Saturday, 2 p.m.: Lynbrook looks to return to the playoffs after its 10-year streak ended last season. Both teams emphasize the running game.
Ward Melville (1-0) at Connetquot (1-0), Saturday, 7 p.m.: Both teams opened with solid victories last week. Ward Melville beat Central Islip, 41-0, as Nick Messina rushed for 110 yards and two touchdowns in the first half. Connetquot routed Sachem North, 41-14, as Dylan McDermott completed 22 of 29 passes for 276 yards and three touchdowns.
Rocky Point at Sayville, Saturday, 2 p.m.: Sayville has a new look everywhere. Four-year starting quarterback Jack Coan is at Wisconsin, first-year coach Reade Sands replaces Rob Hoss who retired from coaching after a highly successful 15-year run, and the Golden Flashes unveil a new turf field near the railroad station.