Undefeated Westhampton is on the cusp of its first appearance in the Long Island football championships. The Hurricanes are one win away. They are also one of four of this weekend’s 16 county finalists, who’ve never qualified for the LIC, which started in 1992.
Miller Place, Mepham and Oceanside would also be first-timers to the big show.
“There is an excellent opportunity in front of us,” said Westhampton coach Bill Parry, who earned his 100th win this season. “We’ve worked all season to be in this position. We’re healthy and playing good football. It’s an exciting time for everyone.”
Westhampton (10-0) will meet Half Hollow Hills West (8-2) for the Suffolk III title at noon Saturday at Stony Brook University.
The Hurricanes beat Hills West, 33-7, on Sept. 16. The Colts, the preseason number one, are not the same team that started the season 3-2. They are on a five-game winning streak and walloped gritty Sayville, 37-6, in the semifinal.
“I’m hoping for heavy rain and high winds,” Parry joked. “This is not the same Hills West team we saw earlier this year. They’re playing much better as a team. We’re going to have to tackle well in the open field and not allow them to get in space or it’s a problem.”
Parry will have to game plan to stop a bevy of playmakers. The speedy Colts backfield tandem of Deyvon Wright, who has 936 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns and Justin Brown, who has 764 yards rushing and eight scores, are hard to contain. Coupled with quarterback Gerald Filardi Jr., who’s thrown for 1,004 yards and 12 TDs and only one interception. His offensive line is also finding its rhythm.
Westhampton has a significant ground game of its own, with more than 3,100 yards this season. They have Long Island’s leading rusher in Dylan Laube, who has 2,268 yards and 36 touchdowns. The Hurricanes also use Tyler Nolan, who has 679 yards and six scores.
The Hurricanes, which last won a Suffolk title in 1989, will also benefit from the return of four injured players that missed the last game against Hills West. Fullback/middle linebacker Liam McIntyre, playing with a soft club on his broken hand, has put a charge into the defense.
Cold Spring Harbor vs. Seaford, at Hofstra, Thursday, 7 p.m.: The Seahawks are the least scored upon defense in the county and can win the Nassau IV title by stopping halfback Joe Angelastro, who has 1,330 yards rushing and 12 TDs.
Babylon vs. Miller Place, at Stony Brook, Thursday, 7 p.m.: Babylon QB Joe Rende is a dual threat in Suffolk IV with just under 2,000 all-purpose yards. They beat Miller Place, 28-14, earlier this year. The return of halfback Tyler Ammirato has ignited the Panthers offense.
Garden City vs. Mepham, at Hofstra, Friday, 7 p.m.: Garden City has a 22-game winning streak and looks to repeat in Nassau II with Trevor Yeboah-Kodie, who has 23 TDs. Mepham can score with QB Michael Proios, who’s thrown for 1,701 yards and 17 TDs and only four interceptions.
West Islip vs. North Babylon, at Stony Brook, Friday, 7 p.m.: The West Islip defense has allowed 10 points per game and needs to stop halfback David Estrella (1,560 yards rushing, 22 TDs) to win Suffolk II.
Lawrence vs. Wantagh, at Hofstra, Saturday, 12:30 p.m.: Wantagh, the defending L.I. Class III champion, needs to stop the running duo of Chris Collier (1,305 yards, 19 TDs) and Christian Fredericks (742 yards, 9 TDs) to repeat in Nassau III.
Oceanside vs. Freeport, at Hofstra, Saturday, 4 p.m.: This game has the potential to be an offensive shootout with all the playmakers on both teams. The defense that shows up and forces a few turnovers wins Nassau I.
Lindenhurst vs. Floyd, at Stony Brook, Saturday, 4 p.m.: Lindy QB Nick Anzalone has been outstanding with 1,696 yards passing and 20 TDs. Floyd will try and power their way past the undefeated Bulldogs with Nick Silva to win Suffolk I. Both teams play nasty defense.
Kellenberg vs. Fordham Prep, at Mitchel Athletic Complex, Saturday, 2:30 p.m.: The undefeated Firebirds have never won a CHSFL AA title. They earned the Class A crown in 1999. QB Matt Sluka has 1,060 yards rushing and 15 TDs.
St. Anthony’s vs. Stepinac, at Mitchel Athletic Complex, Saturday, 6 p.m.: St. Anthony’s, winners of 11 CHSFL Class AAA crowns between 2001 and 2013, are looking for their first title in four years.
GREGG SARRA (66-33)
Cold Spring Harbor
Half Hollow Hills West
ANDY SLAWSON (67-32)
Cold Spring Harbor
BOB HERZOG (62-37)
Half Hollow Hills West