The hard times appear to over for three schools with glittering Long Island Championship pedigrees who fell off the radar last year. But Floyd, which finished 3-6 in 2015 with a first-round playoff loss, Bellport, which finished 1-7, and Lawrence, which finished 4-5 with a first-round playoff loss, may have a hard time remaining undefeated because each faces a top-flight opponent this weekend.
Longwood (3-1) at Floyd (4-0), Saturday, 2 p.m.: The Colonials, who have won five Long Island championships, the last in 2012, will try to match the interior line size and strength of defending L.I. champion Longwood. “Longwood is a great team that’s been on a great run,” Floyd coach Paul Longo said. “We’ve certainly improved from last year. We’re both very good up front, with two of the better lines in the league. I expect it to be a hard-hitting game.” Longo credits the experience and continued improvement of three-year starting offensive linemen Greg Amato (center), Rocky Davis (tackle) and Brian Carney (guard) for his team’s turnaround. Longwood, the No. 1 preseason seed, is led on defense by linebacker Latrell Horton, also the focal point of the offense with 11 rushing touchdowns.
Bellport (5-0) at West Islip (4-0), Saturday, 2 p.m.: The Clippers’ reversal of fortune has been highlighted by one of Long Island’s most explosive offenses. Quarterback James Morrell has thrown for 667 yards and 10 TDs and rushed for 260 yards and six more scores for a unit that averages 45 points per game. The defense surrenders only 6.6 ppg. Bellport, which has won six Long Island championships, the last in 2010, has scored 42, 63 and 56 points in its last three games. But the Lions, seeded No. 2 in preseason, aren’t likely to be as generous, yielding only 8.8 ppg with two shutouts. Versatile QB Jake Guercio has passed for five TDs and run for three more and Drew Cestaro has rushed for five touchdowns.
Lawrence (4-0) at Wantagh (4-0), Saturday, 2 p.m.: The Golden Tornado, who won three straight Long Island championships (2012-14) and five overall, have risen again behind quarterback Akym Land. “We’re better than we were last year because my quarterback is much improved and we have the ability to run the football,” Lawrence coach Joe Martillotti said. Land has been accurate (25-for-38) and productive (402 yards). Running back Chris Collier has averaged 9 yards a carry. Wantagh’s terrific and fierce defense has surrendered a Long Island-low 14 points. “We will struggle to run the ball against them,” Martillotti said. “They are the No. 1 seed for a reason.”
In other games:
Locust Valley (2-1) at Seaford (4-0), Friday, 6 p.m.: Locust Valley has a stingy defense, but will be hard-pressed to stop the relentless running of Seaford’s Danny Roell, who has averaged nearly 9 yards per carry in amassing 714 yards and scoring eight TDs.
Shoreham-Wading River (3-1) vs. Glenn (3-1), Friday, 7 p.m. at Connetquot: A huge game in the race for league supremacy features SWR’s talented running back Chris Gray (13 touchdowns) and Glenn’s prolific passer Kyle Tiernan (639 yards, eight TDs).
Stepinac (3-0) at St. Anthony’s (2-2), Friday, 7 p.m.: An important game for the Friars (2-0 in league), who look to return to their customary position atop the AAA division. This matchup showcases the league’s top two passers (St. Anthony’s Bo Waters, 670 yards and Stepinac’s Mike Nicosia, 506 yards).
Farmingdale (4-0) at Massapequa (4-0), Saturday, 2 p.m.: There is once again plenty on the line in the so-called Backyard Brawl. Expect the Dalers’ line to allow slippery Jordan McLune (625 yards, 11 TDs) to have a big game.
17 — Dylan Laube, Westhampton
13 — Tyler Ammirato, Miller Place
13 — Mike Valentino, Mepham
13 — Chris Gray, Shoreham-Wading River
12 — Umari Taylor, Holy Trinity
11 — Christian Flowers, Wyandanch
11 — Jordan McLune, Farmingdale
11 — Brandon Sobotker, North Babylon
10 — Latrell Horton, Longwood
10 — Chris Mixon, Garden City
1,001 — Dylan Laube, Westhampton
722 — Alec Kiernan, Centereach
714 — Danny Roell, Seaford
705 — Umari Taylor, Holy Trinity
683 — Christian Flowers, Wyandanch
675 — Brandon Sobotker, North Babylon
644 — Keegan Syron, Greenport/Southold/Mattituck
640 — Mike Valentino, Mepham
625 — Jordan McLune, Farmingdale
611 — Alezandro Aponte, Sachem North
1,181 — Aaron Ruthman, Elmont
1,165 — Sam Brown, Long Beach
1,081 — Ryan Sheridan, Commack
932 — Paul Cooper, Kings Park
786 — Danny Dollard, Eastport-South Manor
770 — Austin Perri, Lindenhurst
738 — Alexander Odie, Wyandanch
684 — Bo Waters, St. Anthony’s
667 — James Morrell, Bellport
666 — Michael Proios, Mepham
500 — Ronnie Beard, Commack
414 — Christian Flowers, Wyandanch
377 — Jeremy Ruckert, Lindenhurst
341 — Tyler DeMeo, Carey
324 — Dequan Wilson, Bellport
317 — Lucas Mathieu, Elmont
311 — Kevin Murphy, Seaford
298 — Chester Anderson, Elmont
288 — Mike Cebulski, Kings Park
287 — Mike Saleme, Herricks
— COMPILED BY ANDY SLAWSON
BOB HERZOG (31-9)
ANDY SLAWSON (27-13)
GREGG SARRA (26-14)