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Week 5 games to watch on LI: Lindenhurst ready to renew rivalry with undefeated Northport

Lindenhurst's Gio Tarte (40) runs the ball during

Lindenhurst's Gio Tarte (40) runs the ball during a Suffolk Division II football game between Bellport and Lindenhurst on Saturday Oct 2, 2021 at Bellport High School. Credit: Bob Sorensen

It’s put up or shut up in Suffolk Division II football this week. Lindenhurst coach Nick Lombardo called it a make-or-break week.

"This is a pivotal week for playoff seeding and homefield advantage," Lombardo said. "The most important week on the Suffolk Division II schedule is upon us. I’ve thought there was parity all along."

Lindenhurst (3-1) will travel to play undefeated Northport (4-0) Saturday at 1 p.m. The Bulldogs had an exciting 17-13 comeback win over Half Hollow Hills East (3-1) earlier this season but were throttled last week in a 47-14 loss against Bellport (3-1).

The Northport defense has allowed a division-low 35 points led by linebacker Dylan McNaughton and JJ Ahlstrand. This is the 48th meeting between these schools in a rivalry that began in 1938.

Half Hollow Hills East will travel to Bellport for a 2 p.m. start Saturday in another Division II showdown. Bellport (3-1) lost a 17-14 heartbreaker to Northport after starting quarterback Jack Halpin left with an injury and did not return for the second half.

Halpin’s return included a four-touchdown performance in the blowout of previously unbeaten Lindenhurst.

The Thunderbirds will counter with a dynamic player of its own in halfback Dakim Griffin, who has run wild the past two weeks with more than 400 yards rushing and seven TDs. Hills East defensive end Elias Barrett has been a force and will pressure Halpin throughout this one.

In a pair of games that match teams with 2-2 records, this week will prove crucial to all four teams as they try to make the postseason.

North Babylon is at Newfield at 2 p.m. and West Babylon is at Huntington 1:30 p.m. on Saturday. The winners of these games will start to pave the way to higher power points ratings and a playoff berth.

NASSAU I

Farmingdale at Syosset, Saturday, 2 p.m.: Farmingdale had won 24 consecutive meetings before Syosset won the spring game, 64-63, in overtime. Syosset’s All-Long Island wide receiver Luca Cutolo has five touchdowns and could be the difference in this potentially high-scoring affair.

NASSAU II

Sewanhaka at Glen Cove, Friday, 7 p.m.: The Big Red snapped a 20-game losing skid last week. Halfback Anthony Schettino has been a force and winless Sewanhaka will need to find a way to stop Schettino and freshman halfback Devon Gonzalez for a shot at their first win of the season.

NASSAU III

Bethpage at Plainedge, Saturday, 2 p.m.: The Bethpage defense will have to get after Plainedge quarterback Travis Shaver, who has accounted for 857 yards of total offense and 11 TDs. Plainedge has won seven out of their last 11 meetings, including a 14-13 victory in the Conference III spring semifinal.

NASSAU IV

Clarke at Seaford, Saturday, 2 p.m.: Halfback James McHugh has consistently rushed for more than 100 yards and has the Vikings off to a 5-0 start. Clarke is 4-1 behind dual threat quarterback Nick Giardino, who has accounted for 739 yards of total offense and 11 TDs. Seaford has won 14 out of the last 15 meetings, including eight in a row.

CHSFL

Archbishop Stepinac at St. Anthony’s, Saturday, 1:30 p.m.: Two of the upper-echelon teams in the CHSFL. St. Anthony’s won the spring game in a 21-20 thriller. Both teams are 2-0 in league play. The Friars have a high octane offense behind quarterback Dante Torres.

GREGG SARRA (47-10)

Glen Cove

Cold Spring Harbor

Syosset

Hicksville

Calhoun at New Hyde Park

Plainedge

Division at Roosevelt

Clarke at Seaford

Locust Valley

North Shore

Commack

Northport

Huntington

Half Hollow Hills East

Connetquot

Archbishop Stepinac

Iona Prep

ANDY SLAWSON (43-14)

Sewanhaka

Cold Spring Harbor

Farmingdale

Hicksville

New Hyde Park

Plainedge

Division

Seaford

Locust Valley

North Shore

Commack

Northport

Huntington

Bellport

Connetquot

Archbishop Stepinac

Iona Prep

ROGER RUBIN (43-14)

Sewanhaka

Cold Spring Harbor

Farmingdale

Hicksville

New Hyde Park

Plainedge

Division

Seaford

Locust Valley

North Shore

Commack

Northport

Huntington

Bellport

Connetquot

St. Anthony’s

Iona Prep

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