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HS Football Preview: This week's best games

Xavier Arline #7, Shoreham-Wading River quarterback, picks up

Xavier Arline #7, Shoreham-Wading River quarterback, picks up yards on a keep during the second quarter of a Suffolk County League IV football game against Bayport-Blue Point at Shoreham-Wading River High School on Friday, Sept. 6, 2019. He ran for three touchdowns in the first half. Credit: James Escher

Fans got a small taste of high school football last week. Suffolk Division IV debuted with Shoreham-Wading River’s electric senior quarterback Xavier Arline running for five touchdowns in a big win over Bayport-Blue Point. Arline earned the Newsday High School Sports podcast player of the week honors and takes the Wildcats on the road against Port Jefferson on Saturday at 2 p.m.

A full slate of games is scheduled this weekend. The schedule offers the first look at 11 new head coaches making their mark on the high school landscape. And Garden City, the three-time defending Class III champion, looks to extend its Nassau-record 36-game win streak, replacing most of its starting lineup. Can the Trojans keep it going with a win in Long Beach on Saturday at 2 p.m.?  

Connetquot moves down into the rugged Suffolk Division II with its high-powered offense led by senior quarterback Drew Guttieri. The T-Birds host old Division I foe Northport Friday night at 7 p.m. It’ll be the passing game of Connetquot against the bullish run offense of Northport with halfback Tom Lauinger, who averaged 11 yards a carry last season.

Glenn travels to Mount Sinai for a Division IV game Friday at 6 p.m. Mount Sinai leads Glenn in the all-time series, 16-14. The Mustangs won the first eight meetings but Glenn has turned the tide, knocking the Mustangs from the playoffs in 2013, 2015, 2016, and 2017. That’s a tough opener for both teams.

In other games:

East Islip at Islip, Friday, 7 p.m.: East Islip has never lost to Islip in seven meetings. The teams played in the early 70s and didn’t meet for 41 years until 2015 when East Islip dropped into Suffolk Division III. The Bucs have been limited to one score or less in each of the past four years. They’ll need an extra effort from senior quarterback Joe Juengerkes to end the streak.

Wyandanch at Greenport/Southold, Friday, 6:30 p.m.: Wyandanch travels all the way to Greenport for its Suffolk Division IV opener. The Warriors have won the past three meetings, scoring at least 32 points in each of those meetings. Coach Josh Shields, in his first year, led the Warriors to the playoffs with a 5-4 record.

Lawrence at South Side, Friday, 6 p.m.:  South Side, the No. 2 seed, hasn’t beaten No. 8 Lawrence since 2001 – the year the Cyclones won the Nassau Conference II title, 54-34, behind All-LI halfback Bryant Daniels. They haven’t played in three years and Lawrence holds an 11-1 series advantage. The Cyclones' passing connection of quarterback William Pickett to wideout Nick LiCalzi is one of LI’s best.

Comsewogue at Half Hollow Hills West, Saturday, 1 p.m: Hills West, the defending LI Class III champions, opens with the ‘Wogue, which is loaded with experience and a talented halfback in Jaden Martinez. The Colts will counter with All-Long Island halfback Justin Brown and sophomore Dakim Griffin in a Suffolk Division III opener.

Lynbrook at Roosevelt, Saturday, 3 p.m.:  According to Roosevelt coach Joe Vito, senior Razir Boykin, the Rough Riders' top wide receiver, is out with appendicitis and that will make things more difficult for quarterback Idris Carter. Linebacker Dom Barbuto leads an Owls defense that can stuff the run in a Nassau Conference III opener.

Manhasset at East Meadow, Saturday, 2 p.m.: East Meadow drops into Nassau Conference II and looks to make a playoff run. The Indians have one of LI’s top halfbacks in junior Aidan Mulholland, but East Meadow was a NC-I playoff qualifier a year ago and the Jets are experienced and have halfback Chris Barry. Solid test for both teams.

Freeport at Port Washington, Saturday, 2 p.m.: The Red Devils won 12 in a row and earned the Long Island Class I title. They start the run for back-to-back crowns in Port Washington that just missed the playoffs a year ago.

THIS WEEK’S PICKS

Gregg Sarra

South Side

Connetquot

Centereach

East Islip

Mount Sinai

Wyandanch

East Meadow

Carey

Clarke

Comsewogue

Roger Rubin

South Side

Northport

Centereach

East Islip

Mount Sinai

Greenport

East Meadow

Carey

Clarke

Hills West

Andy Slawson

South Side

Connetquot

Bellport

East Islip

Glenn

Wyandanch

East Meadow

Carey

Clarke

Hills West

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