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Sayville vs. Floyd may just be the Long Island high school football game of the year

Sayville WR CJ Messina grabs the pass, and
Floyd's Jezayd Hall #5 carries the ball and

Sayville's CJ Messina and Floyd's Jezayd Hall.

It came together fast. It has no impact on the postseason. And yet it may be Long Island’s high school football ‘game of the year’ for the 2020-21 school year.

The coronavirus pandemic has forced a lot of teams to cancel or postpone games and left a bunch more looking for a contest when an opponent has to pull out. That’s what is putting two of the Island’s most-decorated football programs on the field this Saturday. Sayville plays at Floyd at 2 p.m.

Floyd has won 12 Suffolk Division I titles, all in the last 19 years. Sayville has won 15 Division III titles, including nine in the last 19 years. As Colonials coach Paul Longo said "it’s a rare opportunity for a game like this and I don’t see it happening again for a long time — if I were just a Long Island football fan, this would be a game I had to see."

"We wanted to play a different kind of team and test ourselves," Sayville coach Reade Sands said. "This will be that: the two teams could not be more different."

Floyd (1-0) plays a little like a top Southeastern Conference college team. It is all about power and aggression, marked by a devastating pass rush that totaled seven sacks against Longwood last week and an overwhelming rushing attack.

Sayville (1-0) plays little like a top Pac-12 team. It has a highly-sophisticated passing attack with a load of athletic playmakers catching passes from quarterback Jack Cheshire, who should graduate with most of the Island’s passing records.

"We’ve been waiting a long time for this," Floyd’s 6-4, 230-pound defensive end/tight end Brian Benson said. "We know our pass rush is capable of determining this game, so we’re going to bring it."

"We play fast and that’s something we have to do to win," Golden Flashes slot receiver/strong safety CJ Messina said. "Our line is going to have to step up and we believe they will. We aren’t going to need that much time to do what we do."

Though no one’s season is on the line, both teams are treating this game with the gravitas they should.

"No one on our side is taking this lightly," Benson said. "Winning this game is important to us."

"Floyd is one of the best teams on this Island and we’re looking to prove we can play with them," Messina said. "They are the bigger team from the better division so they have a lot to lose and we have a lot to gain. I’d look for both teams to play that way."

Suffolk VIII

Glenn at Babylon, Friday, 6 p.m.: Babylon (3-0) has looked awfully tough behind the play of quarterback Joe Young, who has rushed for seven touchdowns and completed 16 of 28 passes for 235 yards and four more scores. Dylan Moretti and Matthew Marsden throw big blocks for the Panthers. Glenn (1-0) has Julian Bush and Malcom Beuka heading a defense that forced four turnovers in its opener.

CHSFL

Iona Prep at St. Anthony’s, Saturday, 12:30 p.m.: This one pits two of the CHSFL’s best. Iona Prep (1-0) is the defending champion and loaded with Division I recruits. St. Anthony’s (1-0), is looking to avenge a shutout loss to the Gaels last school year and has quarterback Dante Torres and receiver Frank Ruta heading its offense.

Nassau II

MacArthur at Garden City, Saturday, 2 p.m.: In 2019 these rivals were no end of entertainment. In the regular season, MacArthur snapped the Trojans’ 42-game win streak; In the postseason Garden City had its revenge in the county title game. The Trojans (1-0) again are strong on all fronts with an offense led by quarterback Luke Schmitt, running back Pierce Archer and running back/tight end Jack Cascadden. The Generals (2-0) have Matt Cacace, Greg Milau and Andrew Calderon heading a line that averages 253 pounds a man and slippery back Ryan Isom rushing behind them.

Nassau III

Manhasset at Plainedge, Saturday, 2 p.m.: Defending L.I. Class III champion Plainedge (2-0), the conference’s top seed, looks like it hasn’t lost a step with 90 points scored. Quarterback Travis Shaver has run, thrown or returned the ball for seven touchdowns and Joe Leone has run for three. Manhasset (2-0), the No. 2 seed, has gotten three rushing TDs from Tyler Roszco and three passing TDs from quarterback Rory Connor.

Nassau IV

North Shore at Wantagh, Saturday, 2 p.m.: North Shore (2-0) and Wantagh (1-0) are new to Conference IV and come in as seeds Nos. 2 and 3. North Shore was one of 2019’s best stories with a run from Conference III’s 11th seed to the county semifinals. Wantagh was also a Nassau III semifinalist in 2019.

STAFF PICKS

ROGER RUBIN

Garden City

Plainedge

Bethpage

Seaford

North Shore

Sayville

Northport

Smithtown East

East Islip

Babylon

Iona Prep

St. John the Baptist

GREGG SARRA

Massapequa

Garden City

Plainedge

Division

Seaford

Wantagh

Sayville

Northport

Half Hollow Hills East

East Islip

Babylon

Iona Prep

St. John the Baptist

Friday

NASSAU

Conference I

Herricks at Westbury, 5 p.m.

Freeport at Oceanside, 6 p.m.

Syosset at Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK, 6:30 p.m.

Conference III

Hewlett at Mineola, 7 p.m.

Conference IV

Lawrence at Malverne, 7 p.m.

Carle Place/Wheatley at Cold Spring Harbor, 7 p.m.

SUFFOLK

League II

Bay Shore at Ward Melville, 7:00 P.M.

League III

Copiague at Connetquot, 6:00 P.M.

League IV

Bellport at Smithtown West, 6:00 P.M.

League VI

Westhampton at Kings Park, 6:00 P.M.

League VII

Shoreham-Wading River at Miller Place. 6:30 P.M.

League VIII

East Hampton/Pierson at Center Moriches, 4:00 P.M.

Glenn at Babylon, 6:00 P.M.

Non-League

Commack at Deer Park, 6 p.m.

Saturday

NASSAU

Conference I

Farmingdale at Massapequa, 2 p.m.

Hempstead at Port Washington, 2 p.m.

East Meadow at Uniondale, 2 p.m.

Hicksville at Baldwin, 2 p.m.

Conference II

MacArthur at Garden City, 2 p.m.

Carey at South Side, 2 p.m.

Mepham at New Hyde Park, 2 p.m.

Bellmore JFK at Valley Stream Central, 2 p.m.

Sewanhaka at Calhoun, 2 p.m.

Elmont at Long Beach, 2 p.m.

Conference III

Manhasset at Plainedge, 2 p.m.

Lynbrook at Floral Park, 2 p.m.

Bethpage at Division, 2 p.m.

Glen Cove at Valley Stream North, 2 p.m.

Roosevelt at Valley Stream South, 2 p.m.

Conference IV

Locust Valley at Seaford, 2 p.m.

North Shore at Wantagh, 2 p.m.

West Hempstead at Clarke, 2 p.m.

Friends Academy vs. East Rockaway, at Malverne HS, 2 p.m.

Oyster Bay at Island Trees, 2 p.m.

SUFFOLK

League III

Huntington at Northport, 2:00 P.M.

Smithtown East at Half Hollow Hills East, 1:30 P.M.

League IV

Centereach at North Babylon, 2:00 P.M.

League V

East Islip at West Babylon, 2:00 P.M.

League VI

Rocky Point at Half Hollow Hills West, 1:00 P.M.

League VII

Bayport-Blue Point at Amityville, 1:30 P.M.

Mt Sinai at Islip, 2:00 P.M.

CHSFL

Iona Prep at St. Anthony’s, 12:30 p.m.

Kennedy Catholic at St. John the Baptist, 1 p.m.

Kellenberg at Stepinac, 1 p.m.

Holy Trinity at Chaminade, 1:30 p.m.

Non-League

Sayville at Floyd, 1:30 p.m.

Sachem East at Newfield, 2 p.m.

St. Dominic at Port Jefferson, 3:30 p.m.

Monday, March 29

NASSAU

Conference II

Valley Stream Central at Bellmore JFK, 11 a.m.

SUFFOLK

League I

Patchogue-Medford at Brentwood, 4 p.m.

Tuesday, March 30

SUFFOLK

League II

Commack at Sachem North, 5:30 p.m.

Wednesday, March 31

SUFFOLK

League VIII

Wyandanch at Glenn, 3 p.m.

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