Mepham running back Ryan Their  against MacArthur on Saturday, Sept....

Mepham running back Ryan Their  against MacArthur on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022. Credit: James Escher

The Mepham-Garden City football game this week could be a juicy one. It looks like a tasty treat for any high school football fan. The Nassau Conference II showdown between these two unbeatens has the potential to be an explosive one at Garden City on Saturday at 2 p.m.

There’s plenty to chew on here.

Mepham is 4-0 with a dynamic offense led by quarterback Dom Novello and halfback Ryan Thier. The Pirates average a conference-high 41 points per game and allow a conference-low seven per game.

The Pirates are riding high at the midpoint of the season after knocking off MacArthur and New Hyde Park. They have one more hill to climb. In this case, it's more like a mountain.

And here’s the sobering news. Garden City is different. Garden City reloads every year with new names and numbers and the same results – the Trojans just win, baby.

To win Nassau II the road unequivocally goes through Garden City.

The Trojans (4-0) are riding a Long Island best 22-game win streak. They have a 23-game win streak against Mepham since 1994. They have a 38-1 record over the Pirates since 1981.

Newsday's Carissa Kellman breaks down the top high school football plays of the past weekend across Long Island, including Garden City's big win over Elmont and a record-setting day for North Babylon's Nathaniel Griffith. Credit: Newsday

Quarterback Cole Webber and halfback Stevie Finnell have stepped in, and the Trojans haven’t skipped a beat. It’s six straight Nassau titles and counting. They're also coming off the school's ninth Long Island championship.

It’s quite the climb.

NASSAU III

Wantagh at Carey, Friday, 7 p.m.: These teams were old Nassau II foes and haven’t played each other in seven years. Wantagh is off to a 4-0 start behind rugged halfback Nick Cupelli. Carey is 3-1 and has an elite runner in halfback Will Tolliver. The line that dominates wins here. Wantagh leads the series, 17-8-2.

SUFFOLK III

East Islip at Westhampton, Friday, 6 p.m.: East Islip quarterback K.J. Scholl and wide receiver Ryan Parker lit it up for three touchdowns connections last week in a big win over Deer Park. They’ll need the same kind of effort to take out undefeated Westhampton, which also boasts a high-scoring offense averaging 38 points per game. The opportunistic defense will win this game.

NASSAU III

Bethpage at Plainedge, Saturday, 2 p.m.: This used to be one of Long Island’s better backyard rivalries. But no more. Plainedge has been the bully on the block for some time, winning six straight meetings between these teams. The Red Devils have knocked Bethpage out of the playoffs two years in a row, including last year’s Conference III final, 27-0. Plainedge has shut out Bethpage in three of the last four games.

SUFFOLK II

Bellport at Half Hollow Hills East, Saturday, 1:30 p.m.: Hills East has been climbing into the upper echelon of the division for years. They came up just short of the title in 2021 in a heartbreaking 34-28 road loss at Bellport. The Clippers seem to be the kryptonite for Hills East – having beaten them in all nine meetings all time. For the Thunderbirds to finally beat Bellport, they’ll need a herculean defensive effort to slow down halfback Donte Phillips and quarterback Justin Miles.

SUFFOLK II

Lindenhurst at West Islip, Saturday, 2 p.m.: Both teams were beaten for the first time this season last week. Lindenhurst was soundly beaten on the road at Northport and West Islip fumbled away its opportunity in a home loss to Bellport. The division is loaded with good teams. Lindy has won four in a row over West Islip. Both teams are 3-1. One of them loses for the second week in a row.

CHSFL

Holy Trinity vs. Kellenberg, at Mitchel Athletic Complex, Sunday, 1:30 p.m.: Holy Trinity steps up in competition from AA to AAA this week with a fantastic team that has won 15 in a row, including a 5-0 start to this season. The Titans are loaded with talent led by quarterback Rocco Rainone and wide receiver Josiah Brown. Titans kicker Eval Glusic could be the difference here. He nailed 43- and 53-yard field goals in last week’s win. Kellenberg is also 5-0 and quarterback Devin Page has more than 1,200 all-purpose yards. Can the Firebirds defense slow down Long Island’s highest-scoring offense?

THIS WEEK'S PICKS

GREGG SARRA (57-23)

South Side

Wantagh

Seaford

Malverne

Westhampton

Miller Place

Syosset

Baldwin

Garden City

Plainedge  

Manhasset

North Shore

Commack

Huntington

Bellport

West Islip

Smithtown West

Kellenberg

Chaminade

St. Anthony's

ROGER RUBIN (51-29)

South Side

Wantagh

Seaford

Malverne

Westhampton

Babylon

East Meadow

Baldwin

Garden City

Plainedge  

Manhasset

North Shore

Commack

Smithtown East

Bellport

Lindenhurst

Smithtown West

Kellenberg

Chaminade

St. Anthony’s

ANDY SLAWSON (58-22)

MacArthur

Wantagh

Seaford

Malverne

East Islip

Miller Place

Syosset

Baldwin

Garden City

Plainedge

Manhasset

North Shore

Commack

Smithtown East

Bellport

West Islip

Smithtown West

Kellenberg

Chaminade

St. Anthony’s

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