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Football upsets make the heart grow fonder

St. Anthony's quarterback Greg Galligan is sacked by

St. Anthony's quarterback Greg Galligan is sacked by Bergen Catholic's Kyle Queiro and Jake Campbell. (Sept. 7, 2012) Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

The high school football season is off to a spectacular start. The unpredictability of so many games left us yearning for more.

It was business as usual for quarterback cover boys Joe Capobianco of Lawrence and Zach Sirico of Sayville. who steered their respective top-seeded teams to lopsided wins. Newfield, which earned the Long Island Class II championship with a stifling defense, recorded its first shutout of the season.

Those were some of the expected outcomes.

But what about the ones few of us could have foreseen? For the first time since Suffolk started the power rankings in 1992, two top seeds went down in Week 1. Floyd, the defending Class I champions and Glenn, the defending Class IV titlists, both lost in their respective openers.

St. Anthony's, the CHSFL defending champion, saw its vaunted defense yield 59 points to national powerhouse Bergen Catholic on MSG Varsity's Friday Night Football game. The 59-21 final was St. Anthony's most lopsided loss in 11 years and its first loss in 30 games.

And what about the 12th-seeded Plainview JFK Hawks edging Freeport, 14-12? Beating Freeport, winner of four Long Island championships in the past 12 years, is a feat in any season. That's a big time win for Plainview.

And when was the last time that Glenn lost a regular-season game in Suffolk IV? The Knights were beaten 21-20 by Hampton Bays yesterday, their second regular-season loss since 2008. Glenn, the two-time defending Class IV champion, had won 43 of 46 games.

Perhaps the biggest surprise came in Mastic Beach where Floyd began its defense of the Long Island Class I crown. Floyd, ranked fourth in the MSG Varsity Tri-State poll, boasted the return of three All-Long Island selections and a bevy of experience. with four Long Island Championships, this was supposed to be the best of all Floyd teams all time.

Connetquot coming off a difficult 1-7 season trekked out to to Floyd for the first of what would be eight consecutive road games this season. The new turf field is still under construction at Connetquot and the team has taken on a road warrior mentality.

"It's an us against the world mentality," said Connetquot quarterback Brian McKean. "There's an added motivation for us playing on the road."

McKean took his band of road warriors and led them into Mastic Beach to conquer the giant that is Floyd football. He couldn't have played better, passing for two scores and running for another as Connetquot upset the top-ranked Colonials, 28-21. His 10-yard touchdown pass to star wideout James Higgins with eight seconds left proved to be the game winner.

"It doesn't get any harder than Floyd in Mastic Beach," said McKean, who completed 13 of 25 passes for 202 yards. "The bus ride home was awesome. We hadn't beaten them in a long time and I know the coaches were super excited."

The opening weekend offered us some of the same, some new and some wild finishes. Keep it coming.

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