William Floyd running back Stacey Bedell #21 jumps over the...

William Floyd running back Stacey Bedell #21 jumps over the fallen Longwood middle linebacker Corry Wallace #7, and gains some yardage. (Sept. 17, 2011) Credit: George A. Faella

The Suffolk I playoff picture will come into focus after two pivotal games this weekend. The top two preseason seeds will meet when undefeated Sachem North (5-0) travels to Floyd (4-1) Saturday for a 2 p.m. start.

The game features two of Long Island's super backs in Floyd's Stacey Bedell, who has 1,033 yards rushing and 16 touchdowns, and Sachem North's Dalton Crossan, who has 984 yards and 18 TDs. The pressure will be on both defensive units trying to contain these special backs. Look for Floyd quarterback A.J. Otranto to make the biggest difference in this one.

While it was predictable that Sachem North and Floyd would play out an important regular-season matchup, two other schools have served notice in the division that they are playoff contenders.

West Islip (4-1), which moved up from Division II, was a 10th seed and only a 25-14 loss to Sachem North has left a blemish on the Lions' record. They travel to play against surprising Sachem East (4-1) at 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

After an 0-8 season, Sachem East, the 13th seed, has turned it around and only a one-point loss to Patchogue-Medford has kept the Flaming Arrows from an undefeated record. Halfback Steven Casali has been a touchdown maker all season but he'll have to outdo West Islip quarterback Anthony Santo, who's been on the mark through five games.

 

Riverhead (5-0) at West Babylon (5-0), Friday, 7 p.m.: Suffolk II's Blue Waves are the highest scoring team in the county, averaging more than 41 points per game, behind halfback Charles Bartlett and quarterback Ryan Bitzer, who leads L.I. in passing yardage. The Eagles score 33 per game with a balanced offense engineered by quarterback Clifton Melhado. Receivers Matt Ballone and Michael Richardson and halfback Reggie Robinson are tough to stop.

 

Bellport (3-2) at Sayville (5-0), Saturday, 2 p.m.: Justin Honce to Armand Correa and Steven Ferreira to Tom Hannan are two very real, throw-it-and-catch-it duos on Long Island. Neither can be stopped but can they be contained in this Suffolk III showdown? Ferreira is 229 yards from the all-time L.I. career passing yardage record.

 

MacArthur (4-1) at Hicksville (4-1), Saturday, 2 p.m.: MacArthur lost to Freeport, 35-19, in Week 1 and then reeled off four straight Nassau I wins. Linebacker Tom Kelleher leads a defense coming off two straight shutouts. Hicksville quarterback Mike McIlwee can light it up and the Comets have scored 25 points or more in every game.

recommended readingLong Island high school football record book

 

Carey (3-2) at Long Beach (3-2), Saturday, 2 p.m.: Carey, supposed to be the No. 1 seed, has lost games to Mepham and a shocker last week to Wantagh, 17-16. Meanwhile, word around Nassau II is that Long Beach is tougher than its record reflects. The Marines lost just 6-0 to Elmont and was tied at 8 with Garden City at the half in Week 4.

 

Plainedge (2-3) at Division (4-1), Saturday, 2 p.m.: Division has the better record, but the Red Devils have played a grueling schedule. Plainedge lost to Lynbrook, Bethpage and Lawrence, the cream of the Nassau III crop. The Blue Dragons are out to prove they belong in the upper echelon.

 

West Hempstead (5-0) at Locust Valley (5-0), Saturday, 2 p.m.: Quarterback Joe Jacobi is making believers in Locust Valley after last week's big win over Roosevelt. West Hempstead ended Seaford's 44-game Nassau winning streak. Both schools are looking to win a Nassau IV title long dominated by Seaford and Roosevelt.

With Bob Herzog and Cody Derespina

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