TODAY'S PAPER
32° Good Evening
CLOSINGS
32° Good Evening
SportsHigh SchoolFootball

Can MacArthur put an end to Garden City's near-record streak?

Hugh Kelleher of MacArthur runs the ball against

Hugh Kelleher of MacArthur runs the ball against Carey on Oct. 11. Credit: Steven Ryan

The streak!

Garden City doesn’t want to talk about it.

And MacArthur wants to put an end to it.

The Garden City football team is on the cusp of Long Island history. The Trojans tied a Long Island record when they beat Mepham, 24-6, last week to improve to 6-0. It marked the 42nd straight win for the Trojans, tying Floyd for the longest winning streak in Long Island high school football. Floyd won 42 in a row between 2005-2008.

Standing in the Trojans way is undefeated MacArthur, a team that rolled through its first six opponents this season, scoring 33 points per game and allowing only four points per game. The Generals are big and bad and talented. And they are a real threat to end the streak.

“The only game that matters, is the one right in front of us,” said Garden City coach Dave Ettinger, who has led Garden City to three consecutive Long Island Class II championships. “And we’ll prepare for MacArthur, like we do every week, focused on how we can win. We want to win every game and we prepare to win every game. But as much as these games are important in the regular season, it’s what we do in the end that really matters, and that’s winning the Long Island championship.”

Garden City hosts MacArthur in a showdown of unbeatens in Nassau Conference II Saturday at 2 p.m. The teams mirror each other in many ways. They have the top two scoring offenses and the least scored upon defenses. Garden City averages points 36 per game and allows 4.5 per game.  

“We’re playing well,” Fehrenbach said. “And Garden City is playing well. They’re a very smart and tough team that flies to the ball on defense. I told our guys that we are trying to win a game. I haven’t mentioned the streak once. But I’m sure my guys are talking about it in school and off the field.”

MacArthur senior Hugh Kelleher, a 6-2, 210-pound halfback, has rushed for 1,201 yards and 13 touchdowns, averaging more than 12 yards per carry. His success running against the Garden City front will be the key to this contest.

“He has vision, balance, strength, power and speed and he’s fun to watch,” Fehrenbach said. “He plays violent on both sides of the ball and runs with a mission.”

The Garden City defense, a disciplined unit, will be ready. There’s that streak on the line.

Nassau III

South Side at Plainedge, Friday, 6:30 p.m.: Two 6-0 teams battle for the top seed in Nassau Conference III. South Side quarterback William Pickett has been unstoppable, averaging more than 200 all-purpose yards per game, but he goes against the least score upon defense in the conference. The stingy Plainedge defense has allowed five points per game. Plainedge quarterback Dan Villari has found a favorite target in wide receiver Doug Elsesser, who caught two more TDs last week.

Suffolk I

Ward Melville at Sachem East, Friday, 6 p.m.: Ward Melville likes to run the ball with halfback Mike Fiore and the Sachem East defense led by Jason Bruno, Ryan Micheli and Ryan Paolella prides itself on stuffing the run game. The game will be won up front with the line that dominates. Both teams are 4-2 and can challenge Floyd for the divisional title.

Suffolk II

Centereach at Connetquot, Friday, 7 p.m.: Homefield advantage in the first two rounds of the playoffs is at stake in this game.  

Connetquot seems to have found its stride in last week’s big 48-21 win over North Babylon. T-Birds quarterback Drew Guttieri threw for four touchdowns and rushed for two more. Centereach squeezed past Smithtown East, 7-6, with rugged defense and short TD run from Matt Robbert. Both teams are 3-3.

Suffolk III

Half Hollow Hills West at Sayville, Saturday, 2 p.m.: The Sayville passing game versus the Hills’ running game. One of Long Island’s hottest passing combos, QB Jack Cheshire to WR Brock Murtha was at it again last week when Sayville beat Harborfields, 49-12. The two hooked up for four more touchdowns. Hills West has its own explosive tandem with halfbacks Dakim Griffin and Justin Brown, who both rushed for over 100 yards and scored two TDs last week in a 42-0 win over Amityville.

THIS WEEK'S PICKS

GREGG SARRA (52-18)

Plainedge

Wantagh

Sachem East

Newfield

Connetquot

Bayport-Blue Point

Garden City

Roosevelt

Bethpage

Locust Valley

Riverhead

Sachem North

Half Hollow Hills East

East Islip

Sayville

Christ the King

ANDY SLAWSON (51-19)

Plainedge

Wantagh

Sachem East

Smithtown West

Connetquot

Bayport-Blue Point

MacArthur

Roosevelt

Bethpage

Locust Valley

Commack

Sachem North

Half Hollow Hills East

East Islip

Sayville

Christ the King

ROGER RUBIN (53-17)

Plainedge

Wantagh

Sachem East

Smithtown West

Centereach

Bayport-Blue Point

Garden City

Roosevelt

Valley Stream North

Locust Valley

Riverhead

Sachem North

Half Hollow Hills East

East Islip

Sayville

Christ the King

More high schools