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Nassau I teams starting season off strong

East Meadow running back Billy Piano shrugs off

East Meadow running back Billy Piano shrugs off a would-be Freeport tackler during the first quarter of a Nassau I football quarterfinal on Friday, Nov. 7, 2014. Credit: James Escher

There is no easing into the season with a breather in tough, deep Nassau I, especially not for East Meadow and Farmingdale, two of at least six legitimate contenders for the county title won last year by Syosset.

The Dalers, 7-2 a year ago, host East Meadow (8-2 in 2014) Friday at 6 o'clock in an opener that promises plenty of hard hitting inside from two physical teams. The Jets are led on defense by 290-pound nose guard Matt Mascia and linebacker Billy Piano. Mascia is also the anchor on the offensive line in front of quarterback Anthony LaRosa.

Farmingdale is led by all-purpose star Tom McPartland, the team's top receiver who is also a sure tackler at safety and dangerous kick returner. Charlie Tomassetti is a force at defensive end, a run-stopper who can also get to the quarterback.


Syosset at Baldwin, Saturday, 2 p.m.: The defending L.I. champion Braves return the exciting all-L.I. passing combo of QB Will Hogan (2,401 yards, 22 TDs) and WR Mike Elardo (1,421 yards, 19 TDs). The Bruins, whose only loss last season was to Syosset in the county final, return key linemen Jacorie Nosworthy and Miguel McKenzie.


MacArthur at Wantagh, Saturday, 2 p.m.: The Generals hope to unseat two-time L.I. champions Carey behind strong-armed QB Jimmy Keller and WR Jared Wolfe, and a deep group of linebackers. The Warriors also are strong contenders with three-year, two-way starters Dylan Beckwith (WR/DB), Corey Sachs (TE/LB) and Kyle Sliwak (RB/LB).


Roosevelt at Lawrence, Saturday, 2 p.m.: The Golden Tornadoes have won three straight L.I. titles - no school has ever won four straight - and will need their young skill players to develop behind a veteran line. LB/WR Victor Mintz is a tough matchup. The Rough Riders move up from Nassau IV, where they dominated in recent years and look to make an impact behind RB Jude Innocent, a transfer from Brentwood, and QB Stephan Vailes.


Lindenhurst at Ward Melville, Friday, 6 p.m.: Bulldogs QB Ryan Hofmann (1,980 yards, 20 TDs) returns for the defending county champions, along with several key skill players. The Patriots just missed the playoffs a year ago and look to take that next step, led by WR/DB Eddie Munoz, who returned two picks for touchdowns and led team in tackles.


Newfield at Huntington, Saturday, 2 p.m.: The Wolverines (3-6 a year ago) expect big things from WR/CB Elijah Riley who scored nine TDs and had two INTs. The Blue Devils have speed led by track star WR/S Infinite Tucker.

Riverhead at West Islip, Saturday, 2 p.m.: The Blue Waves hope to challenge Hills West for the league championship with a strong defense featuring DE Tyrese Kerr and LB Blake Carrara. The Lions should be in the playoff mix led by veteran QB Conor Smith (814 yards passing, 214 rushing in six games.)


Rocky Point at East Islip, Saturday, 2 p.m.: The Redmen move down are years of success in Suffolk II and this is the first of many new opponents. QB/LB Jack Hannigan is one of toughest kids around, and 320-pound Kyle Nunez is a force on both lines. The Ealges counter with versatile QB Harrison Lynch and two-way lineman C.J. Perrino.

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