South Side's William Pickett is not your ordinary high school quarterback. Ask any coach in Nassau Conference III and the answer is the same. The 6-1, 230-pound Pickett is very big for a quarterback and tough to stop.
“He’s a big guy, who runs like a freight train, running down hill on smaller defenders,” Wantagh coach Keith Sachs said. “He’s a force that looks like he enjoys running people over. He also throws defenders down and out of his way like they’re little leaguers. We definitely have to find a way to slow him down.”
Wantagh (3-1) travels to South Side (4-0) for a key conference game Friday at 6 p.m.
Pickett has thrown for six touchdowns and run for six more in the Cyclones' four-game win streak. The offense also features halfback Nick LiCalzi, who had three touchdowns on five touches in last week’s 41-13 over Valley Stream North.
“They’re obviously very efficient,” Sachs said. “We’ll see how our defense stacks up to a guy that has basically run over the conference through the first half of the season.”
Wantagh will rely on leading tacklers Mike Lombardi and Andrew Amato to slow the Cyclones running game.
South Side coach Phil Onesto knows the second half of the conference schedule will really test his squad.
“Wantagh is a tough team and the second half of our schedule is challenging,” Onesto said. “But we have high expectations and the first half gave our young offensive line a chance to come together and gain valuable experience.”
The key to that O-line is center Michael Murray, who moved over from left guard.
“We have to minimize mistakes and limit Wantagh’s opportunities,” Onesto said. “It’ll come down to execution.”
NASSAU CONFERENCE I
Massapequa at Farmingdale, Saturday, 2 p.m.: The Farmingdale offense is the model of efficiency through four games. It’s one of the more balanced attacks on Long Island. Quarterback Nick Lundin completed all 10 of his passes for 159 yards and two scores and halfback Kevin Wilson rushed for 103 yards and three touchdowns in a 35-16 win over Port Washington. The Dalers (4-0) will need that balance against crosstown rival Massapequa (3-1), which has averaged 29 points per game against them in the past five meetings. Massapequa QB John Giller was also perfect last week. He completed all six of his passes for 154 yards and a score in a 48-9 win over Hempstead.
NASSAU CONFERENCE II
East Meadow at Garden City, Saturday, 2 p.m.: These teams haven’t played each other since 1990. Garden City has won all three games between the schools. The Trojans are riding a Nassau County record 40-game win streak, the second longest on Long Island. Floyd won 42 in a row between 2005-2008. East Meadow (3-1) will need to find ways to score against a stingy Trojans defense led by Luke Schmitt, Pierce Archer and Kostas Adams. The Trojans have allowed 14 points through four games.
SUFFOLK DIVISION II
Smithtown East at Huntington, Saturday, 1:30 p.m.: Both teams come into this game with 2-2 records after close losses last week. Huntington has won the last two meetings, including a 32-20 victory last season. The Blue Devils are led by halfback Nasir Youngblood. The winner has a real playoff chance in the power rankings, and the loser, not so much.
SUFFOLK DIVISION III
Westhampton at Half Hollow Hills West, Saturday, 1 p.m.: Both teams are 3-1 and this result will go a long way to securing a home game in the first round of the playoffs. The Westhampton defense led by linebacker Shavar Coffey and defensive back Jaden AlfanoStJohn shut down high-scoring Comsewogue a week ago. The Hurricanes will be hard pressed to contain the running back duo of Dakim Griffin and Justin Brown, who’ve led the Colts to 104 points the past two weeks.
SUFFOLK DIVISION IV
Mount Sinai at Shoreham-Wading River, Saturday, 2 p.m.: A matchup of two 4-0 teams, who are both coming off the bye week. Mount Sinai quarterback Brendan Ventarola has rushed for seven scores and thrown for two and Shoreham quarterback Xavier Arline has rushed for 15 touchdowns and passed for two. The Wildcats average 45 points per game but the Mount Sinai defense yields only 11 per game – something’s got to give.
Chaminade at Kellenberg at Mitchel Athletic Complex, Saturday, 1:30 p.m.: Two undefeated divisional teams in CHSFL AA-I meet for sole possession of first place. Chaminade needs to find a way to stop a Kellenberg offense led by halfback Jordan DeLucia, who had 207 yards rushing and four touchdowns in a 42-14 win over Fordham Prep. Kellenberg, the two-time defending CHSFL AA champion, has won 26 of its last 27 games.
GREGG SARRA (30-10)
Half Hollow Hills East
Half Hollow Hills West
ANDY SLAWSON (30-10)
ROGER RUBIN (29-21)