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Suffolk III football preview: Hills West exudes offense

Half Hollow Hills West's Gerald Filardi

Half Hollow Hills West's Gerald Filardi  Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

There is no shortage of football talent in Suffolk IIl.

One team with a star-studded lineup is Half Hollow Hills West. The backfield can be electrifying with quarterback Gerald Filardi and the halfback tandem of Justin Brown and Deyvon Wright. The two combined for a whopping 2,955 all-purpose yards. Filardi is a big-game quarterback and could improve on his 13 touchdown passes form a year ago. His ability to throw and stretch the field will make it difficult for defensive units to stack the box and shut down the run.

Opposing coaches are impressed.

“We’re going to have to honor the abundance of talent that Hills has on the offensive side of the ball,” said East Islip coach Sal J. Ciampi. “Those are games are won where you plan to keep them off the field and control the tempo.”

Ciampi's Redmen will look to control tempo with halfback Dylan Rigo, a four-year starter and one of the toughest halfbacks in Suffolk.

Westhampton, the defending Long Island Class III champion, is on a 12-game win streak and boasts a ferocious defense led by middle linebacker Liam McIntyre, linebacker Shavar Coffey, nose tackle Edon Popi and 6-8, 300-pound end Jon Mendoza.

In contrast to the explosiveness of Hills West, the Hurricanes will be defense-minded with a bevy of talent to defend the school’s first LIC crown.

Sayville lost to Hills West in the divisional semifinals a year ago and the Golden Flashes finished at 7-3. They looked solid in the pre-season eight-way scrimmage at Islip last week. The defense was active and physical behind end Maximus Mazius and linebacker Aidan Kaler.

The Sayville offense will turn to junior quarterback Brock Murtha, a Notre Dame baseball commit, who has a big arm and runs hard. Keeping the big playmaker healthy is a key to the Sayville season. He missed half of last season with a broken thumb.

Eastport-South Manor has 6-6, 308-pound two-way lineman Matt Goncalves, who has committed to Pittsburgh. The senior will force teams to game plan against him. 

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