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High school football conference semifinal preview: This round of playoffs resembles Rivalry Week

Tyler Martini of Wantagh gets a grip on

Tyler Martini of Wantagh gets a grip on Bethpage QB Luke Galgano at Bethpage High School Saturday, September 18, 2021. Credit: David L. Pokress

The semifinal round of the high school football playoffs across Long Island brings us rivalry week. A few not so friendly neighborhood rivalries will determine who goes to the county championship games in Nassau and Suffolk.

No. 3 Bethpage and No. 2 Wantagh open things up in a Nassau Conference III semifinal at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Hofstra University. The Golden Eagles (7-2) suffered a 20-13 home loss to Wantagh in Week 2.

Wantagh (8-1) has won five of the last six meetings. Halfback Tyler Martini was the difference in that game. He’s been unstoppable with a Nassau-leading 1,467 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns.

On Friday, one of Nassau’s most storied rivalries will get it on in Nassau Conference I when No. 4 Farmingdale and top-seeded Massapequa play at Hofstra University at 4 p.m.

Farmingdale upended the defending champion, 30-28, in the regular season when halfback Sal Posillico scored on a 1-yard run as time expired. The touchdown came after quarterback Kyle Wilson engineered a frantic 70-yard drive in the final minute of play.

On Suffolk’s south shore, it’ll be a purple out when No. 5 Islip (6-3) meets top-seeded and undefeated Sayville in a Division III semifinal at the newly turfed Greeley Avenue Field at 6 p.m. Friday.

Sayville (9-0), the defending Division III champion, squeaked out a hard-fought 14-7 win over the Bucs in Week 7.

The Golden Flashes are buoyed by freshman halfback Kyle Messina, who has 1,133 yards rushing and 13 touchdowns. Messina has moved between halfback and the quarterback position in the Wildcat formation.

Further east on Suffolk’s north shore, No. 4 Miller Place (7-2) travels to top-seeded Shoreham-Wading River (8-1) for a Suffolk Division IV semifinal at 6 p.m. Friday.

Shoreham won the regular season meeting, 27-21, in Week 2. The Wildcats have won three consecutive divisional titles and six of the last seven. Halfback Max Barone has 17 touchdowns on the ground.

SUFFOLK II

(4) Northport at (1) Lindenhurst, Friday, 6 p.m.: In Week 5, Lindy came away with a hard-fought 20-14 win. The Bulldogs have won three Suffolk titles and two LICs in the last four seasons. Northport hasn’t played in a final in 30 years, since 1991.

NASSAU IV

(4) Cold Spring Harbor vs. (1) Seaford, Hofstra University, Saturday, 1:30 p.m.: Seaford won the first meeting, 19-0, in Week 2 as halfback James McHugh rushed for 227 yards and a score.

SUFFOLK I

(4) Ward Melville at (1) Whitman, Saturday, 1 p.m.: Whitman has won every game by 20 points or more, with the exception of a 41-35 win over gritty Ward Melville in Week 6. Insiders feel this will be the upset of the weekend.

SUFFOLK I

(3) Commack at (2) Floyd, Saturday, 1 p.m.: Floyd won, 24-21, on a 34-yard field goal by sophomore Caden Lesiewicz with six seconds left in the regular season matchup. The Colonials have defeated Commack in 15 of their last 16 meetings, including the last six.

CHSFL CLASS AA-2

4) Holy Cross at (1) Holy Trinity, Saturday, 1 p.m.: Holy Trinity won, 35-6, in their Week 6 meeting. The speedy Titans look to start the season at 9-0 for the first time in program history.

With Andy Slawson

GREGG SARRA (109-28)

Massapequa

Oceanside

Lindenhurst

Sayville

East Islip

Miller Place

North Shore

Seaford

Garden City

MacArthur

Whitman

Floyd

Bellport

Bayport-Blue Point

St. Anthony’s

Chaminade

Holy Trinity

St. John the Baptist

Plainedge

Wantagh

ANDY SLAWSON (102-35)

Farmingdale

Oceanside

Lindenhurst

Sayville

East Islip

Shoreham-Wading River

North Shore

Seaford

Garden City

MacArthur

Whitman

Floyd

Bellport

Bayport-Blue Point

Iona Prep

Chaminade

Holy Trinity

St. John the Baptist

Plainedge

Wantagh

ROGER RUBIN (97-40)

Massapequa

Oceanside

Lindenhurst

Sayville

East Islip

Shoreham-Wading River

North Shore

Cold Spring Harbor

Garden City

MacArthur

Whitman

Floyd

Half Hollow Hills East

Bayport-Blue Point

St. Anthony’s

Chaminade

Holy Trinity

St. John the Baptist

Plainedge

Wantagh

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