Such is this cautious tale told by most of Suffolk's Division I coaches. The records lie. The regular season is somewhat meaningless. And what matters most is getting into the postseason, where everything matters.
Floyd (4-1) travels to Sachem North (5-0) Friday night to play a pivotal Division I football game that carries significant playoff implications. The undefeated Flaming Arrows, ranked first in Newsday's Large Schools poll and eighth in the MSG Varsity Tri-state poll, find themselves the hunted once again.
"We were undefeated and rolling into the division championship last year and we know how that one turned out," Sachem North coach Dave Falco said. "Floyd is always Floyd. There is no favorite here."
The two powerhouses get it on in the MSG Varsity game of the week live on Cablevision's channel 14 at 7 p.m. Last season, Sachem North ended Floyd's Suffolk record 42-game regular season Division I winning streak with a 17-14 win on opening day. The win sent the Flaming Arrows barreling through the division on their way to a single season school record 10 wins.
Floyd then battered Sachem North 27-6 in the championship to capture its fifth Suffolk title in the past eight years. The sting of that loss still reverberates in the Sachem community, where Long Island's largest school district has yet to win a Long Island Class I title.
The time is now for a Sachem North team loaded with talent and senior leadership. The Flaming Arrows have scored the most points in Suffolk (188) and allowed the third fewest (37).
Floyd will have to stop a rushing attack that is a three-headed monster. Junior transfer Dalton Crossan leads the way with eight touchdowns, Jesse Scanna has seven and fullback Mike Andreassi has six.
Floyd is coming off a loss to Longwood, only its second regular season setback in eight years. Floyd is 59-2 in that span and has not lost back-to-back games since 2002. Game on.
East Islip (4-1) at North Babylon (4-1), 2 p.m.: North Babylon has struggled to find continuity on offense. Preshod McCoy has 503 yards and 10 TDs heading into a series that has seen the Bulldogs win 12 of the last 14 games since 1998. Redmen quarterback Kevin Hutchinson kicked four field goals last week, becoming the third player in Suffolk history to do so. A field goal could be the difference here.
Sewanhaka (4-1) at Hewlett (4-1), 2 p.m.: Previously undefeated Hewlett is coming off a loss to undefeated Lynbrook in Nassau Conference III. Hewlett has amassed more than 1,100 yards in five games led by Sam Martorella, who has 533 yards and five scores. Quarterback Alex Kahn has thrown for more than 500 yards and eight TDs. Sewanhaka needs to slow the Bulldogs offense.
Islip (5-0) at Sayville (5-0), 2 p.m.: Familiar showdown of top tier teams in Suffolk Division III. This is a classic game of the potent Sayville offense, the highest scoring unit in the division with 178 points, versus the stingiest defense in the division, Islip, which has allowed just 39 points. Sayville quarterback Steve Ferreira, who has thrown for 1,143 yards and 16 scores, and Islip quarterback Jeff Craig have dominated.