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Football preview: Plainedge to open new turf field in grand style?

Plainedge's Mike Ciuffo during a Nassau III game

Plainedge's Mike Ciuffo during a Nassau III game against Bethpage on Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. Credit: James Escher

Talk about a grand opening.

Plainedge football will unveil its brand new turf field this weekend when the Red Devils host Wantagh, the defending Long Island Class III champions, at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

The game was originally scheduled to be played at MacArthur at 7 p.m. but with the field ready to go — Plainedge can christen the facility in grand style with a win over the champs.

For Wantagh, the Warriors will be heading into the proverbial Lions den with a bevy of significant injuries and title hopes waning. Wantagh (6-1) lost All-Long Island linebacker / fullback Gavin Casey for the season with a broken tibia and All-Long Island halfback Tom Rohan with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

“I don’t know many teams that can overcome injuries to those kinds of impact players,” Wantagh coach Keith Sachs said. “They’re more than great football players. These are two of the very best kids I’ve coached. We will try and rally around each other and win against a very good team.”

Wantagh’s Anthony D’Onofrio filled the halfback role quite nicely in last week’s 34-13 win over Valley Stream North when he scored five touchdowns.

Plainedge (5-2) lost 28-21 last week to Bethpage. The Red Devils are averaging 36 points per game with senior quarterback Mike Ciuffo, who has thrown for 991 yards and 17 touchdowns. They also have balance in the offense with junior halfback Dion Quinlan, who has 840 yards and four scores.

Westhampton at Harborfields, Friday, 6:30 p.m.: Quarterback P.J. Clementi has thrown for 847 yards and nine touchdowns and will look to exploit the Hurricanes secondary with outstanding receiver Gavin Buda, who had two second-half scoring catches in last week’s win over Eastport-South Manor. Buda has 34 catches for 434 yards on the season. Harborfields (6-1) was beaten soundly by Hills West, 51-0, in Suffolk III earlier this year, and have won four in a row. But stopping Westhampton halfback Dylan Laube is another story. Laube has rushed for 1,681 yards and scored 26 touchdowns and Westhampton is 7-0.

Freeport at Farmingdale, Friday, 6:30 p.m.: This is a battle of two teams with 5-2 records in Nassau I. Freeport has played stingy defense allowing 12 points per game and will need to shut down quarterback Kevin McCormick, who threw for three scores in last week’s win. McCormick has passed for 743 yards and 10 scores. Freeport, the defending L.I. Class I champions, uses a balanced offense behind Gregory Pimentel and Aaje Grayson, who has 607 yards rushing and eight scores.

Bethpage at Roosevelt, Saturday, 2 p.m.: The stout Bethpage defense will have its hands full with Roosevelt halfback Kevin Hall, who is Nassau’s leading rusher with 1,459 yards and 18 touchdowns. Bethpage will need to be physical and win the turnover battle. Both teams are 5-2 in Nassau III.

Northport at Floyd, Saturday, 2 p.m.: Floyd (6-1) is the defending Suffolk I champion and its defense will be put to the test against a run-first Northport offense. These teams did not play each other last year. Both teams score just under 30 points per game. A win guarantees Northport (5-2) a top four finish and a home playoff game.

Wyandanch at Amityville, 1:30 p.m.: A win here gives Amity ville (2-5) a strong shot to earn a postseason berth. The Warriors will rely on senior quarterback Jala Coad and two-way tackle Deonte Wilson to get the big win. Wyandanch (2-5) can play spoiler behind junior QB Deonte Jordan, who has 542 yards rushing and five scores in Suffolk IV.

GREGG SARRA (37-23)

Freeport

Westhampton

Long Beach

South Side

MacArthur

Bethpage

Plainedge

Floyd

Hills West

Amityville

BOB HERZOG (36-24)

Freeport

Westhampton

Long Beach

South Side

MacArthur

Bethpage

Wantagh

Floyd

Hills West

Wyandanch

ANDY SLAWSON (35-25)

Freeport

Westhampton

Long Beach

South Side

MacArthur

Bethpage

Plainedge

Floyd

Hills West

Amityville

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