"So I travel back, down that road. Will she come back? No one knows." — "Just A Dream" by Nelly.
We're getting soulful this week here on the High School Football blog.
Heading into Week 7, these are the "dog days" for high school football teams. They've all got bumps and bruises, and the weather is beginning to turn cold.
What road have they all traveled down? Losers' Lane. All but five have suffered a loss this season, and all but 10 have felt the sting of defeat at least twice.
But to succeed in November, the coldest and cruelest month of the high school season (yet also the one with all the glory), teams must shake out those bad feelings. Wins in Week 7 and 8 don't ensure a trip to Hofstra, but they do determine whether or not you can punch a ticket to the semifinals at your own field.
Does that mean Sewanhaka gets a home playoff game? It sure looks that way, as the Indians are in second place in Conference III at 5-1. But with a matchup against undefeated Lynbrook looming in two weeks, and four teams breathing down their neck at 4-2, it's not yet a done deal.
What about MacArthur? Could the Generals sneak into one of the top four spots in a stacked Conference I? They are one of three 4-2 teams in the conference, but have already lost to the other two — East Meadow and Farmingdale. Can they move up? Yeah, but they'll have to beat 5-1 Freeport on Saturday.
How about North Shore in Conference IV? Can they snag a home playoff game? Or is that only just a dream?
This week's song, "Just A Dream," by Nelly, is dedicated to the dreamers, those who can't afford to travel down that road of losing anymore this season.
For the fourth straight week we're kicking it "Bottom 10" style, courtesy of Nelly.
Three of these teams (Oceanside, which moved up two spots to No. 16, Freeport, which also moved up two spots to No. 19, and Carey, which debuted at No. 24) were worthy of entrance into this week's MSG Varsity tri-state football poll. None, even the undefeated Sailors, have garnered acceptance into Gregg Sarra's Big 10. Oceanside remains in the "outside looking in" category.
The Sailors, the top scoring team on Long Island with 256 points (42.6 per game), are one of five undefeated teams remaining in Nassau (Carey, Lynbrook, Seaford and Roosevelt are the others). The next, and last, battle of undefeated teams in Nassau will come on Friday night when Seaford plays host to Roosevelt. More on those teams in just a bit.
But without further ado, let's check out this week's Nassau top 10, Nelly style...
1. Oceanside (6-0, Conference I): "Hey, she was so easy to love..." It's hard not to love what Tyler Heuer and the Sailors are doing this year. The senior quarterback was 9-for-16 for 169 yards and four touchdowns (giving him 22 through the air this season) in a 43-14 win at Plainview JFK on Saturday. Gene Garay's streak of three straight 100-yard receiving games was snapped, but he still caught three passes for 51 yards and a score. Nick Sherry rushed for 122 yards and two touchdowns on seven carries for Oceanside, which won its lone county title in 1977 but is positioning itself well to win another this season.
Up next: Vs. Uniondale (3-3) at 5 p.m. on Saturday.
2. Carey (6-0, Conference II): "I shouldda put it down, shouldda got that ring..." After narrowly missing out on a trip to the county final last season, the Seahawks seem to have made it their mission to get a Long Island Championship ring in 2010. Coach Mike Stanley's boys buried Calhoun 30-7 at home on Saturday. It was their third straight game of 30+ points, and fifth in six games this season. Kyle Zahradka was 10-for-19 for 239 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. Nine different players rushed for a combined 110 yards for Carey, which hasn't won a county title since 1976.
Up next: At Mepham (5-1) at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday.
3. Freeport (5-1, Conference I): "Cuz I can still feel it in the air..." The Red Devils still have that championship feeling in the air. The two-time defending county champs dominated visiting East Meadow 41-6 on Saturday behind Isaiah Barnes' 131 yards passing and 140 rushing. He was 5-for-9 passing with a TD, and ran for another score. Defensive linemen Terrell Brown and Oscar Bruce each had two sacks. To watch highlights of the game, courtesy of MSG Varsity, click here.
Up next: At MacArthur (4-2) at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday.
4. Lynbrook (6-0, Conference III): "Thinkin' bout us, what we gonna be?..." Are the Owls going to be a championship team? They've certainly looked the part thus far this season, and that continued in a 37-6 win over visiting Division on Saturday. Lynbrook scored 37 points in the second and third quarters after being held scoreless in the first. Senior quarterback Paul Magloire rushed for a career-high 236 yards and three touchdowns on 12 carries. Travis Lock ran for 135 yards and two scores on 12 attempts. To watch MSG Varsity highlights of the game, click here.
Up next: At Lawrence (4-2) at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday.
5. Seaford (6-0, Conference IV): "Open my eyes, it was only just a dream..." The Vikings wish Saturday's game at Floral Park was only just a dream. They got caught looking ahead to Friday's showdown with Roosevelt, but still managed to squeak out a 14-7 overtime win over the Knights. Quarterback Chris Trotta, who replaced injured starter Joe Kirincic in the third quarter, hit Brian Gilbert on a 10-yard scoring pass on fourth-and-6 for what proved to be the game-winner. Gilbert also scored Seaford's other TD, an 8-yard reception from Kirincic that made it 7-0 in the second quarter. The win was Seaford's 38th in a row against Conference IV opponents and 18th overall.
Up next: Vs. Roosevelt (6-0), No. 7 on this list, at 7 p.m. on Friday.
6. Garden City (5-1, Conference II): "Number 1 spot, now she find her replacement..." The Trojans had become accustom to being in the top spot in Conference II, but this weekend they'll have to duke it out with Wantagh just to stay in second place. Last week, they made short work of New Hyde Park, 45-0, on the road. Stephen Jahelka led a ground attack that rushed for 288 yards on 28 carries with 92 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries. Ryan Norton made all six of his extra points and hit a 20-yard field goal. Garden City also recovered five fumbles, as it earned its third shutout of the season.
Up next: Vs. Wantagh (5-1), No. 10 on this list, at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday.
7. Roosevelt (6-0, Conference IV): "Man I swear I see your face at every turn..." Whenever the Rough Riders see a path to an undefeated season, there is Seaford standing in their way. But Donte Colter didn't let his team look past Clarke on Saturday. Roosevelt earned a 34-6 win over the visiting Rams behind the senior running back, who rushed for a career-high 306 yards and five touchdowns on 19 carries. He also caught a two-point conversion pass, as he scored 32 of Roosevelt's 34 points.
Up next: At Seaford (6-0), No. 5 on this list, at 7 p.m. on Friday.
8. Sewanhaka (5-1, Conference III): "See her pretty face, run my fingers through her hair..." The Indians have been accused of winning ugly this season, but their 20-14 win at Hewlett on Saturday was a thing of beauty. Brian Wint rushed for 144 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries, threw a 45-yard TD pass to Joshua Castro and made an interception. Shireem Cobb (pictured above with the ball) rushed for 168 yards and a TD on 27 attempts.
Up next: Vs. Manhasset (3-3) at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday.
9. Farmingdale (4-2, Conference I): "I was at the top and now it's like I'm in the basement..." The Dalers are far from the basement, but it must feel like that for the preseason No. 1 seed, which is locked in a three-team logjam at 4-2 in Conference I. Yet they kept trucking on Saturday with a 33-6 win at Baldwin behind Kevin Wahl's 136 yards and four touchdowns on 20 carries. Wahl also made six tackles, while Pat Starke intercepted two passes.
Up next: Vs. Syosset (3-3) at 7 p.m. on Friday. The game will be televised live on MSG Varsity, iO channel 14 (714 in HD).
10. Wantagh (5-1, Conference II): "And I just hope that she notice she the only one I yearn for..." The Warriors yearn for a solid effort that eluded them two weeks ago against Carey when they take the field at Garden City on Saturday. They prepped for that game with a 51-6 demolition of visiting Bellmore JFK. It was the first time this season Wantagh has eclipsed the 50-point mark. Mike Scully rushed for 111 yards and three TDs on nine carries. Matt Balzano ran for 128 yards and a score, and John Reicherter ran for 115 and a TD.
Up next: At Garden City (5-1), No. 6 on this list, at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday.