There's one thing Freeport's Russ Cellan and Oceanside's Rob Blount can agree on — their Nassau Conference I teams are a contrast in styles on offense.
Freeport keeps it simple and relies on the run. Oceanside's offense is more complex and will spread the field to try to pick apart opponents with its passing game.
“We’re very different, it’s no secret," Cellan said. "We want to run the ball and they want to throw.”
Different styles, but similar results.
Freeport (3-0), the defending Long Island Class I champions, is on a 15-game win streak. Oceanside (2-1), with Blount leading the way, won its first Nassau title in 40 years in 2017. They face each other Friday night at 6 p.m.
“It should be a fun game,” Cellan said. “It’s two communities that are very close and we’ll have a great crowd with very passionate fans. Rob Blount is a very good coach, and he’s done a great job with that program and they’re a factor every year. It’s a regular season game, so you don’t want to get too crazy over it – because we’ll probably meet again in the playoffs.”
Freeport is averaging 44 points per game and pulling their starters early in the second half. Quarterback Terrance Edmond is complemented by halfback Makhai Jinks, who moved into the backfield after spending the past two years on the offensive line. Jinks also leads a Freeport defense that’s only yielded 33 points this season.
“Freeport is the No. 1 team in the state, and they’re on a great run,” Blount said. “We have to find a way to bottle them up and slow down the offense. They’re simplistic, but they’re very tough. We need to rattle them and get them off their game. They also have the best defense again and we had a rough go with them last year.”
Oceanside quarterback Charlie McKee had a breakout season last year and threw for 29 touchdowns and six interceptions as a 14-year-old freshman. But he struggled against Freeport, who shut out the Sailors, 38-0 and 42-0.
"We shut Oceanside down last year and did a very good job with the quarterback," Cellan said. "But he was only a ninth grader and he had a phenomenal season.”
Blount is confident that McKee will benefit from last year's experience. The Sailors are averaging 40.3 points per game this season.
"Charlie will have to make some tough throws and take some hits,” Blount said. “Our mindset in year two as a sophomore is to let him loose and let him go play. We’ll put him and the offensive line in the best situation possible, move the pocket, and switch up our play calls. It would be nice to move the ball on the ground.”
Suffolk Division III – Sayville at East Islip, Saturday, 2 p.m.: Both teams are 3-0. Sayville quarterback Jack Cheshire has thrown for more touchdowns in the first three games in a season than anyone in Long Island history. He has 17 TD passes. WR Brock Murtha had four TD catches last week. East Islip is the least scored upon defense in the division behind linebackers Dylan Rigo and Tom Higgins.
Nassau Conference II — Carey at Manhasset, Friday, 6 p.m. Carey (1-2) is looking for a rebound win to right the ship after a tough loss against undefeated Garden City. Manhasset (2-1) cruised past Calhoun and wants to break into the upper echelon of the conference with a big win over a perennial finalist.
Suffolk Division I — Ward Melville at Longwood, Friday, 6 p.m. Interesting game between two 2-1 teams that were tripped up in early season losses. Longwood’s Anele Nwanyanwu had 288 yards and five TDs last week in high-scoring win over Brentwood, 55-34. Ward Melville’s Mike Fiore has been unstoppable and had two scores in last week’s 43-26 win over Bay Shore. The better defense wins here.
Suffolk Division III — Westhampton at Comsewogue, Friday, 6 p.m. The Hurricanes have an elite runner in Jaden AlfanoStJohn and Comsewogue will counter with one of Long Island’s top passing combinations in QB Brady Shannon and record-breaking WR Anthony Cambria, who has 526 yards receiving in two weeks.
Nassau Conference II — MacArthur at Mepham, Saturday, 3 p.m. We find out which of these two schools poses a serious threat to Garden City’s Nassau-record 39-game win streak after this showdown of unbeatens. MacArthur has allowed only 10 points through three games. Mepham walloped Carey earlier, 33-7, and handed Sewanhaka, a 14-7 loss.
Nassau Conference IV — Seaford at Cold Spring Harbor, Saturday, 6 p.m. Cold Spring Harbor (3-0), the defending LI Class IV champions, have quarterback Richie Striano, who had four second quarter TD passes in a 48-6 win over East Rockaway last week, and two excellent receivers in Casey Reynolds and Will Spehr. Seaford has allowed only one TD in three wins. The Vikings have a stout run game with halfback Tom Viscio.
GREGG SARRA (25-5)
ANDY SLAWSON (23-7)
ROGER RUBIN (21-9)
Half Hollow Hills East
Valley Stream South
Cold Spring Harbor