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Sayville-Lawrence a golden matchup in Long Island football championships

Sayville's Jack Coan, left, and Lawrence's Simon Jones.

Sayville's Jack Coan, left, and Lawrence's Simon Jones. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke/James Escher

Sayville-Lawrence. Lawrence-Sayville. Put those perennial football powerhouses in the same sentence and the period at the end of it turns into a question mark. As in: Can they do it again?

"It," of course, is a possible reprise of their historical 2011 Long Island Class III championship game won by Sayville, 78-61, in the highest scoring varsity football game in state history. Once again they are the two top-scoring teams on Long Island (Lawrence averages 44 points; Sayville 43.7) . . . so, can they do it again in Friday's Long Island Class III championship game at 4:30 p.m. at Hofstra?

"Of course not," said Simon Jones, standout middle linebacker for Lawrence, who was one of three freshmen to play in the 2011 game and who said earlier this week, "Nobody wants to play in a game like that."

Realistically, a 78-61 outcome is highly unlikely, primarily because both teams feature better defenses than in 2011. "We have guys that go both ways that are capable of handling business," said Jones, also a fullback. "On defense, we have more confidence."

Lawrence coach Joe Martillotti doesn't expect state scoring records to fall this time, either. "I can't see that happening again," Martillotti said. "They're too good on defense and we're pretty good on defense, too. We've got secondary guys who can fly to the ball."

Sayville coach Rob Hoss agreed. "The reason I don't think it'll happen again is that Lawrence's defense is so much better and we know we have a very good defense. No way Lawrence can do that to us, and we don't think we'll put 78 points on them. They like to run the ball and that shortens the game."

Sayville allows just 9.5 points compared with Lawrence's 10.9, but that's not to say this will be a defensive struggle like the 2012 rematch, won by Lawrence, 21-20. Offense is the primary reason both teams are 11-0.

The Golden Flashes are led by sophomore quarterback Jack Coan, who set single-season Long Island records for touchdown passes (39) and yards passing (3,116), and workhorse running back Matt Selts, who has rushed for 1,738 yards with 29 total touchdowns.

Lawrence's Golden Tornadoes features Jordan Fredericks, an explosive running back who leads Long Island with 33 touchdowns and is fifth in rushing yardage with 1,931, and athletic quarterback Sean Moran.

"We're a little different. We're a run-based offense. We passed more then," Martillotti said of his teams that featured Joe Capobianco, owner of the records that Coan just broke. "It's a different style but we're still capable of putting up a lot of points."

So are the Golden Flashes. "The reason that Jack can put up the numbers is that our offensive line is so good," Hoss said. "Jack didn't get sacked for the first time until late in the fifth game."

So here comes the third meeting of these two schools in the last four years -- the matchup that both wanted.

"To be Long Island champions, we'd rather play Sayville than anyone else," Martillotti said. "They're the best in Suffolk and we're the best in Nassau. Let's see how it plays out."

Hoss expressed similar sentiments. "When you have the two best teams playing each other, it's exciting for a coach," Hoss said. "The first one was crazy offense. The second one was a defensive battle. This is Round 3."

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