Tomaso Ramos, Farmingdale running back, dashes downfield after finding an...

Tomaso Ramos, Farmingdale running back, dashes downfield after finding an opening in the third quarter of a Nassau Conference I football game against host Syosseton Oct. 9, 2021. Credit: James Escher

The Port Washington football program is on the rise. But just how high can the undefeated Vikings go? They’ve already beaten the preseason three seed at Freeport, 40-36, and now they’re ready to take the next step against another upper-echelon perennial playoff contender in Farmingdale.

Port Washington (3-0) will host Farmingdale (3-0) in a battle of unbeatens in a Nassau Conference I game Saturday at 3 p.m.

"They’re a very good team, very physical,” said Port Washington coach Kevin Cloghessy, in his fifth year. “Farmingdale is very disciplined defensively and they do a lot of things very well.”

Farmingdale has a powerful running game behind halfbacks Tomaso Ramos and Trevor Gayron. The Dalers have scored a conference leading 131 points. But the Dalers' success lies in a defense that has shut out all three opponents this season.

Port Washington exploded for 40 points in the opener but has also relied on defense for its past two wins, including a 15-14 overtime win over Westbury.  

“We have over 70 middle school kids playing football and we had to go to two teams,” Cloghessy said. “We have more than 40 players on the junior varsity. The program is growing as the numbers have gotten progressively better the past few years.

“I’m a health and physical education teacher in the middle school and that helps get the athletes out to play,” he said. “And the support from the administration and being able to highlight the positives about football has helped.”

It wasn’t long ago that Port Washington labored badly in Conference I and asked for relief to play in a Developmental League in 2012 and 2013. They finished 7-1 in both years and were placed back in Conference I, where they went 3-13 over two years.

In 2016, Port Washington left Section VIII football, became an independent football program and had a 2-4 record. In 2017, they joined the Hudson River League and went 9-0.

The Vikings came back to Conference I in 2018 and were 4-4. In 2019 and 2021, they were playoff qualifiers and finished 5-4 and 3-5, respectively.

"The new coaching staff has engaged the kids in the district and built the program back to respectability and a high level of competition,” said Frank Luisi, a member of the Section VIII football committee. “I’m very happy that they’re back in Section VIII and what head coach Cloghessy and his staff have done.”

But this is a huge hurdle. Farmingdale has won 11 straight games in this series. Port Washington has not defeated the Dalers since 1970.

SUFFOLK II

Bellport at West Islip, Friday, 6 p.m.: These teams have played 32 times since 1989. Bellport leads the series 16-15-1. Both teams like to dominate on the ground. Bellport has halfback Donte Phillips and West Islip counters with halfback Sal Calderone, two of the better running backs on Long Island.

NASSAU I

Freeport at Hempstead, Saturday, 3 p.m.: Hempstead is off to its first 3-0 start since 2007. The Tigers have not been 4-0 since 1993 and Freeport has won the last six games in the series. This is a big step for the Tigers if they can end the losing streak to Freeport.

SUFFOLK I

Longwood at Floyd, Saturday, 1 p.m.: This game is dubbed the Parkway Bowl because six miles of the William Floyd Parkway separate the two schools. Floyd leads the all-time series 38-18-2 and has won the last eight meetings. Both schools are 3-0 and feature excellent running games. Longwood halfback Terrance Robinson is off to a hot start.

SUFFOLK IV

Kings Park at Bayport-Blue Point, Saturday, 2 p.m.: This is the first meeting between these two schools in 51 years. Kings Park dropped into Division IV this season. This showdown between the undefeated top two seeds in the division promises to be a good one. Bayport quarterback Brady Clark has 11 touchdown passes in three games. Kings Park quarterback Kyle Weeks is a scoring threat on the run and through the air.

CHSFL AAA

St. Anthony's at Iona Prep, Saturday, 4 p.m.: Iona Prep has won the last four meetings, including a 35-28 win in the 2021 semifinals. St. Anthony’s quarterback Dante Torres has passed for more than 1,000 yards and 12 touchdowns in three games.

GREGG SARRA (42-18)

Lynbrook  

Wantagh

West Hempstead  

Ward Melville

West Islip

Westhampton

Miller Place

Farmingdale

Freeport

Westbury

Mepham

Long Beach

Clarke

East Rockaway

Floyd

Smithtown West

Lindenhurst

Bayport-Blue Point

Kellenberg

St. Anthony's

ROGER RUBIN (40-20)

Lynbrook

Wantagh

West Hempstead

Ward Melville

West Islip

Westhampton

Mt Sinai

Farmingdale

Freeport

Westbury

Mepham

South Side

Clarke

East Rockaway

Floyd

Smithtown West

Lindenhurst

Bayport-Blue Point

Kellenberg

Iona Prep

ANDY SLAWSON (42-18)

Lynbrook  

Wantagh

West Hempstead  

Ward Melville

Bellport

Westhampton

Miller Place

Farmingdale

Freeport

Westbury

Mepham

Long Beach

Clarke

Seaford

Floyd

Smithtown West

Lindenhurst

Bayport-Blue Point

Kellenberg

St. Anthony's

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