"And you never say 'hey' or remember my name, and it's probably 'cause you think you're cooler than me." — "Cooler Than Me" by Mike Posner.
We don't like to admit it, but we're extremely vain here at the High School Football blog. We think we're cooler than everyone.
But come playoff time, the popularity contests go out the window. It comes down to which team executes better, not which team looked better on paper.
Oceanside learned that lesson the hard way last week. The Sailors' resume appeared slightly better than Freeport's, but stats can't account for an 81-yard kick return to force overtime, or a fourth-and-1 conversion from the 11 down by 3 in the extra period.
So despite leads of 21-0 and 27-7, the Sailors' undefeated season was halted, 41-38, by the Red Devils. While Oceanside remains a "popular" pick to advance deep into the postseason, Freeport, the two-time defending county champion, is the top dog once again in Conference I.
Said Red Devils QB Isaiah Barnes after the game: "It wasn't a playoff game, but it had that playoff feeling."
Get used to it, buddy. That's all you'll be feeling the rest of the year.
This week's song, "Cooler Than Me" by Mike Posner, is dedicated to Red Devils, because many have viewed other Conference I teams as cooler than them this season, including right from the very beginning when they were the preseason No. 3 seed behind Farmingdale and Syosset.
So yeah, we're still kicking it "Bottom 10" style, courtesy of Mr. Posner.
Three of these teams (Freeport, which moved up five spots to No. 14 with its win over Oceanside, the Sailors, who fell five spots to No. 17, and Carey, which stayed at No. 23) were worthy of entrance into this week's MSG Varsity tri-state football poll. None have garnered acceptance into Gregg Sarra's Big 10.
Despite its loss, Oceanside finished the regular season as the top scoring team on Long Island with 328 points (41 per game) — just two points ahead of Freeport, which scored 41 on the dot for the fifth consecutive game.
The only two teams to complete an undefeated regular season were Carey and Seaford. More on them shortly. But without further ado, let's check out this week's Nassau top 10, Mike Posner style...
For a complete rundown of this weekend's opening-round games, click here.
1. Carey (8-0, Conference II): "And you don't even look when you pass by..." The Seahawks aren't really into reflecting. But they must be happy with transpired this past weekend. In addition to earning the top seed in the playoffs for the first time since 1978, the year of their last county title, quarterback Kyle Zahradka passed his brother Luke for the most passing yards in a season in school history with 1,276. In the 43-13 win over visiting Elmont on Saturday, he was 10-for-16 for 239 yards and three scores. Jesse Milonas caught three passes for 100 yards and a touchdown, while Juliano Bove caught a 43-yard TD, rushed for two more scores and returned a kick 91 yards for a TD. It was only Carey's second 40-point performance of the season, but it's scored at least 30 in all but one game. To listen to postgame comments from Bove courtesy of MSG Varsity, click here. To hear from coach Mike Stanley, click here, and for plenty game highlights, click here.
Up next: Vs. No. 8 Westbury (4-4) at 3 p.m. on Saturday. Carey didn't play the Rebels during the regular season.
2. Freeport (7-1, Conference I): "I hope that you like this, but you probably won't, you think you're cooler than me..." The Red Devils haven't been getting the respect they've deserved all season, but Saturday's 41-38 overtime win over visiting Oceanside certainly cemented their status in the "cool" class. Dan Olivier (pictured above), who finished with 118 yards and four touchdowns on 19 carries, plunged in from 2 yards out in O.T. for the walk-off win. Jere Brown tied the game on an 81-yard kick return with 1:27 left in regulation. Freeport had trailed 21-0 and 27-7. Isaiah Barnes was 13-for-21 for 216 yards, including five completions for 84 yards to Brown, and rushed for 56 yards and a score. To see Brown's kick return, click here, and to see Olivier's game-winning TD, click here. For complete game highlights, hit it here.
Up next: Vs. No. 8 Baldwin (4-4) at 3 p.m. on Saturday. Freeport defeated the Bruins 48-13 in the opening game of the season.
3. Oceanside (7-1, Conference I): "Who do you think that you are?..." That's what Freeport told to the upstart Sailors on Saturday, as the Red Devils handed visiting Oceanside a 41-38 overtime defeat to end its perfect season. Despite the loss, Tyler Heuer threw three touchdown passes, and is now tied for the Nassau record of 30, set by Freeeport's Randy Mills in 2003, who was at Saturday's game. Heuer finished 21-for-36 for 255 yards with three TDs and one INT, and ran for 102 yards and a score on 19 carries. Gene Garay caught eight passes for 116 yards and two scores, including the record-tying TD, a 42-yarder that gave Oceanside a 27-7 lead. To see the duo's 10-yard connection that made it 21-0, click here.
Up next: Vs. No. 7 Massapequa (4-4) at 5 p.m. on Saturday. Oceanside defeated the Chiefs 34-7 in the season-opener.
4. Seaford (8-0, Conference IV): "You got your high brow switch in your walk..." Why wouldn't the Vikings walk with swagger? After all, they just completed their fourth straight undefeated regular season. Seaford has won 40 straight games against Conference IV opponents and 20 overall after a 42-13 win at Clarke on Saturday. It was their fourth game this season of 40+ points. John Troisi rushed for 224 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries, and Travis Langan added 69 yards and three scores on 12 attempts. Thorp Award candidate Justin Buckley sat out with a high ankle sprain.
Up next: Vs. No. 8 Mineola (5-3) at 7 p.m. on Friday. Seaford did not play the Mustangs during the regular season.
5. Garden City (7-1, Conference II): "But you don't know the way that you look when your steps make that much noise..." The Trojans' feet made plenty of noise in a 35-0 drubbing of host Bellmore JFK on Saturday. Patric Berkery, filling in for the injured Brian Fischer, rushed for 94 yards and two touchdowns on just four carries, while Matt Confort caught a 22-yard TD and then returned an interception 24 yards for another score 17 seconds later. Garden City scored all 35 of its points in the first half. The Trojans eclipsed 30 points for the sixth time this year.
Up next: Vs. No. 7 Calhoun (3-5) at 3 p.m. on Saturday. Garden City defeated the Colts 42-7 in Week 2.
6. Lynbrook (7-1, Conference III): "Behind your make up, nobody knows who you even are, who do you think that you are?..." Who are the Owls? The team that dropped a one-point decision to Lawrence a week ago, or the one that destroyed host Sewanhaka 33-7 on Saturday? We'll see in the postseason. On Saturday, Travis Lock rushed for 113 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries, and returned the opening kickoff 80 yards for a score. Paul Magloire ran for 137 yards, including a 50-yard TD, and Luke Spitzer returned a punt 88 yards for a TD that made it 14-0. To hear postgame comments from coach Stephen LoCicero, click here. More from Lock can be heard here, and Magloire here.
Up next: Vs. No. 8 Manhasset (4-4) at 3 p.m. on Saturday. Lynbrook beat the Indians 35-0 in Week 4.
7. Roosevelt (7-1, Conference IV): "I used up all of my tricks, I hope that you like this..." The Rough Riders needed to use all their tricks to avoid an upset at Locust Valley. Jamie Merchant's 86-yard kick return for a touchdown gave Roosevelt a two-touchdown lead at halftime, but they just managed to hold on for a 21-15 win on Saturday. Donte Colter rushed for 116 yards and two scores on 18 carries, while QB Erin Parker ran 12 times for 93 yards. Chris David and Rob Givons each had two sacks.
Up next: Vs. No. 7 Cold Spring Harbor (5-3) at 3 p.m. on Saturday. Roosevelt defeated the Seahawks 28-14 in Week 3.
8. Farmingdale (6-2, Conference I): "See I got you all figured out, you need everyone's eyes just to feel seen..." With all eyes on Oceanside and Freeport this weekend in Conference I, the Dalers flew under the radar with a 35-21 win at Massapequa on Saturday. Kevin Wahl rushed for 259 yards and three touchdowns on 35 carries, and caught a 20-yard TD pass. With 30 career touchdowns, Wahl is now Farmingdale's all-time touchdown leader, eclipsing the former mark of 28 set by Jerome Williams '71.
Up next: Vs. No. 6 MacArthur (5-3) at 6:30 p.m. on Friday. Farmingdale beat the Generals 31-26 in the season-opener.
9. Lawrence (6-2, Conference III): "If I could write you a song to make you fall in love, I would already have you up under my arm..." The Golden Tornado is still trying to find the right notes, but will take a three-game winning streak into the playoffs after a 39-20 win at Division on Saturday. Ryan Fredericks rushed for 160 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries, and returned a kickoff 87 yards for a score. Samson Bialostok threw for 160 yards and three scores, and Chris Donohue made two interceptions.
Up next: Vs. No. 7 Glen Cove (5-3) at 3 p.m. on Saturday. Lawrence did not play the Big Red in the regular season.
10. Holy Trinity (6-2, CHSFL): "You got designer shades just to hide your face and you wear them around like you're cooler than me..." Who are the Titans hiding from? St. Anthony's — their likely CHSAA final opponent. But, before they get there, the Titans closed their regular season with a workmanlike 29-0 victory at Xaverian on Friday night. Louis Cotrone rushed for 159 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries, and Chris Laviano was 11-for-13 for 124 yards with one TD and one INT.
Up next: Vs. Mount St. Michael (4-3) at 1 p.m. on Sunday. Holy Trinity defeated the Mountaineers 10-0 in Week 2.