Newsday's high school sports writers highlight some of the keys plays for the 2015 Nassau and Suffolk County football championship games.
Nassau I: Hakeem Cesar's pass break-up
After Farmingdale drove for a 13-play, 61-yard drive taking 6:43 off the clock and going up 24-10 with 5:17 left in the third quarter of the Nassau Conference I championship, Oceanside needed an answer. That's when Hakeem Cesar got his arm on a ball from Oceanside's Vincent Guarino, which bounced in the air and Christian Hernandez intercepted. Farmingdale won the title game, 34-23.
Nassau I: Anthony Burriesci's roll-out TD pass
With one second remaining in the first half of the Nassau Conference I championship, Farmingdale quarterback Anthony Burriesci rolled to his right, away from the pressure, and unloaded a long pass to Steve Kunz in the end zone for a 39-yard touchdown to give the Dalers a 17-10 lead en route to a 34-23 win over Oceanside.
Suffolk I: Sean Rausch's pick-six
Sean Rausch made a 51-yard catch that set up a 4-yard touchdown run by Khalil Owens to give Longwood a 14-7 lead over Lindenhurst with 8:46 left in the second quarter of the Suffolk Division I championship. Then on the first play from scrimmage on the ensuing drive, Rausch jumped a pass route, made the interception and returned it 28 yards for the touchdown, increasing the Longwood lead to 14 en route to a 44-14 win.
Suffolk I: Longwood's fake punt
Trailing 7-0, Longwood punter Marquis Simpson faked a punt and ran 24 yards for a first down with 5:01 left in the first quarter. A late hit tacked 15 yards onto the end of the run and set up a Tahj Clark 13-yard scoring run in the 44-14 win over Lindenhurst in the Suffolk Division I championship.
Nassau II: MacArthur's defensive stand
After MacArthur took a 21-14 lead following a pick-6 in the Nassau Conference II championship, Kyle Sliwak broke a 14-yard run on first down to get Wantagh near midfield. The Generals' defense made its stand after that -- cemented by Marc Arboleda getting pressure and forcing an incomplete pass to give MacArthur the ball back with 10:27 left.
Nassau II: Vin Thron's pick-six
The Nassau Conference II championship game turned in the third quarter after Wantagh's goal-line stand in which the Warriors twice stopped MacArthur on quarterback sneaks from the 1. But two plays later, the Generals took a 21-14 lead when Marc Arboleda pressured Wantagh QB Robert Tucker, whose pass from his own end zone was picked off at the 2 by Vin Thron (No. 40) for an easy touchdown.
Suffolk II: Justin Ottenwalder's TD catch and run
With Newfield nursing a 24-20 lead and Half Hollow Hills West charging down field in the third quarter, Denzel Williams intercepted a pass at the 7-yard line and returned it to the 31. Two plays later, Newfield quarterback Ryan Klemm connected with Justin Ottenwalder, who got some blocks and raced down field for a 75-yard touchdown to open an 11-point lead in the Suffolk Division II final.
Suffolk II: Two touchdowns in 17 seconds
Newfield extended a 24-20 lead to 37-20 in a 17-second span during the Suffolk Division II championship against Half Hollow Hills West. Justin Ottenwalder scored on a 75-yard screen pass and on the ensuing kickoff Jesse McKeever (pictured) returned a fumble to the Hills West 1-yard line to set up an Austin Gubelman 1-yard scoring run with 7:05 left in the third quarter.
Nassau III: Davien Kuinlan's record breaker
Davien Kuinlan broke Jason Gwaltney's Long Island record for rushing yards in a game on an 18-yard run with 3:07 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Red Devils' 56-34 victory over Glen Cove in the Nassau Conference III championship. Kuinlan carried 39 times for 484 yards and seven touchdowns, including scoring runs of 72, 31, 57 and 51. Gwaltney ran for 467 in 2003.
Nassau III: Nicholas Checchia's run
With all eyes on Davien Kuinlan -- and rightfully so -- it was Nicholas Checchia that made the back-breaking play in the second quarter for Plainedge. Lined up under center and nearly everybody in the stadium expecting some type of option run involving Kuinlan, Checchia took the snap and ran straight up the middle for a 65-yard score to give the Red Devils a 35-14 lead with 8:47 remaining in the second quarter. Plainedge beat Glen Cove, 56-34.
Suffolk III: Kevin Kolar's pass defense
East Islip had a chance to cut into Sayville's 21-0 lead early in the third quarter after blocking a punt and taking over on the Golden Flashes' 22. But Kevin Kolar batted away a fourth-down pass and the Redmen did not score until late in the fourth quarter of a 21-7 victory in the Suffolk Division III final.
Suffolk III: Jack Coan's TD run
Facing third-and-goal from the eight, Jack Coan ducked under the blitz and ran into the end zone untouched, capping a 16-play, 80-yard drive to give Sayville its first touchdown in a 21-7 win over East Islip in the Suffolk Division III final.
Suffolk IV: Kevin Cutinella's blocked punt
Kevin Cutinella blocked a punt from Glenn on its 21-yard line during the opening drive of the game that immediately put Shoreham-Wading River in striking distance. That turnover turned into a scoring drive and a 7-0 lead for the Wildcats and an eventual 24-14 win in the Suffolk Division IV championship game.
Nassau IV: Tom Talenti's TDs
It's difficult to decide which of Tom Talenti's two rushing touchdowns were more impressive in Locust Valley's 20-6 win over Seaford in Nassau Conference IV. On Locust Valley's second play from scrimmage, Talenti's 46-yard touchdown run -- he weaved through the line of scrimmage, cut to the right and darted up the sideline -- put the Falcons up 7-0. In the third quarter, Talenti one-upped himself with a 47-yard rushing touchdown to put Locust Valley up 14-6.