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Lindenhurst vs. Half Hollow Hills East one to watch in Week 2 of LI football season

Dakim Griffin breaks a tackle during the first

Dakim Griffin breaks a tackle during the first half of a Suffolk Division III football game between Westhampton Beach and Half Hollow Hills West on Oct. 12, 2019. Credit: Rafael Javier

Lindenhurst has been one of Suffolk’s top tier football programs over the last decade. The Bulldogs won three Suffolk titles between 2017-2019, winning a Class I title in 2017 and Class II crown in 2019. In both of those LIC seasons, the Bulldogs finished with a 12-0 record.

They are the preseason top seed in Suffolk’s Division II and face an early season test against an up-and-coming Half Hollow Hills East program.

Half Hollow Hills East, in its 44th year of football, has never reached a division or Suffolk football final. That could change this year with the addition of super halfback Dakim Griffin, who transferred from Half Hollow Hills West.

Griffin rushed for 154 yards and three first-quarter touchdowns in a 48-19 season-opening win over Centereach. He’s a game-changer in a division loaded with very good teams.

"I think the division is up for grabs," Lindenhurst coach Nick Lombardo said. "We have a lot of balance in the division. You have to come to play every week."

Half Hollow Hills East will travel to play at Lindenhurst Friday at 6 p.m. They’ve played each other a total of four times between 2018 and 2019 with Lindy winning all four meetings.

Lindenhurst’s Jake Trovato rushed for 201 yards and three touchdowns in an opening-week win over North Babylon. Bulldogs quarterback Brendan O’Connor and sure-handed receiver Chris Carson are hard to contain. Carson had five catches for 78 yards last week.

"We can do a lot of things on offense," Lombardo said. "The key will be winning the battle up front."


Farmingdale at Oceanside, Friday, 6 p.m.: Since 2010, these teams have beaten each other seven times each. In those 14 games, the Farmingdale offense averages 26 points per game and the Sailors average 25.2. Always a must-see Conference I game. Oceanside QB Charlie McKee is the difference this year.


Northport at West Islip, Friday, 6 p.m.: Northport hasn’t defeated West Islip since 1996. The Lions are 5-0 in that stretch, including a 21-14 win in the spring. This promises to be a physical battle between the tackles.


Westhampton at East Islip, Friday, 6 p.m.: Westhampton has won five of the last seven meetings and has averaged 32 points per game in those games. East Islip has a power duo in halfbacks Leo Lopez and Derek Burrell. Westhampton is coming off an upset loss to Kings Park.


Bayport-Blue Point at Mt. Sinai, Friday, 6 p.m.: Bayport is the top seed in the preseason and walloped Center Moriches last week behind quarterback Brady Clark, who accounted for four touchdowns. Mount Sinai is a huge step up in competition and holds a 21-4 all-time record over the Phantoms, including a current eight-game win streak. The Phantoms last won in this series in 2010.


Glen Cove at Baldwin, Saturday, 2 p.m.: Both teams suffered lopsided losses in Week 1 and will look to rebound with a first win of the season. This is the teams' first meeting since 1952.


New Hyde Park at Garden City, Saturday, 2 p.m.: Garden City is 52-2 over the last five seasons. The Trojans run the offense behind Thorp Award runner-up Jack Cascadden, who consistently rushes for more than 100 yards. The Trojans haven’t lost to New Hyde Park since 1995 and that was their first meeting.


Wantagh at Bethpage, Saturday, 2 p.m.: This is the first meeting between these two rivals in three years. The neighboring schools have had some down-to-the-wire finishes and bragging rights are always at stake. Bethpage leads the series, 25-11, but Wantagh had won four of the last five meetings.


Miller Place at Shoreham-Wading River, Saturday, 1 p.m.: Shoreham has dominated Division IV, winning six of the last seven playoff titles. Miller Place is the only Suffolk team to beat the Wildcats in the Suffolk playoffs in that time, a 28-0 win in the 2017 semifinals.


Xaverian at St. John the Baptist, Saturday, 1:30 p.m.: The last time the Cougars started the season 2-0 was in 2012. Their second opponent of that season was Xaverian; can history repeat itself?

With Andy Slawson



Northport Lindenhurst Mt. Sinai Hempstead East Meadow Carey Baldwin Wantagh East Rockaway North Shore Central Islip Whitman Harborfields St. John the Baptist


West Islip Lindenhurst Mt. Sinai Hempstead East Meadow Carey Baldwin Wantagh East Rockaway North Shore Brentwood Whitman Rocky Point St. John the Baptist


Northport Lindenhurst Bayport-Blue Point Hempstead East Meadow Carey Baldwin Wantagh East Rockaway North Shore Central Islip Whitman Rocky Point St. John the Baptist

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