Nassau HS football playoff preview

Postseason to begin this Saturday


All Nassau County High School sporting events last week were postponed in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, including 16 first-round football playoff games that were rescheduled for Saturday, Nov. 10 at 1:30 p.m.

The semifinals and county championship games at Hofstra will follow on subsequent weekends, and the Long Island championships are projected to take place Nov. 30-Dec. 2, marking just the second time in 17 years they won’t be held on Thanksgiving weekend.

The following is a breakdown of the opening round matchups in Nassau.

Conference I
Farmingdale (1) vs. Plainview-JFK (8): Farmingdale (7-1) earned the No. 1 seed with a 21-14 victory over Massapequa in the regular-season finale. The Dalers are led by running back Curtis Jenkins, and the Hawks (4-4) by running back Ryan Schenck.

Oceanside (2) vs. Syosset (7): The Sailors (7-1) seek a third straight trip to the semifinals. They defeated the Braves (4-4) in Week 4, 22-0, behind quarterback Tom Capone’s 20-for-27, 238-yard performance, and 11 tackles and an interception from Vasilli Grigorakos.

Baldwin (3) vs. Uniondale (6): The Bruins (6-2) are hot and shouldn’t have much trouble advancing. They beat the Knights (5-3) handily in the season opener, and the backfield combination of Jovaun Tomlinson and Treyvon Mask will prove a handful.

East Meadow (4) vs. Massapequa (5): The Jets (6-2) fell to the Chiefs (5-3) at home in Week 7, 38-29, despite four rushing touchdowns from Billy Andrle. It’s the most interesting first-round game in Nassau and should come down to the wire.

Conference II
Garden City (1) vs. Bellmore-JFK (8): The Trojans (7-1) are coming off a rare loss but remain serious contenders. They’ll try to use the same formula they did in 2011 when they beat the Cougars (3-5) in the opening round.

MacArthur (2) vs. Elmont (7): The Generals (7-1) have won six straight, including a 24-6 victory over the Spartans (4-4) in Week 6. They’ve got offensive balance, with running back Tom Kelleher and quarterback Gerard Cunningham, and title hopes.

Wantagh (3) vs. Mepham (6): The Warriors (6-2) made a statement in the regular-season finale, crushing Long Beach by 34. They beat the Pirates (4-4) by 18 in Week 3, but the visitors have won three in a row.

Carey (4) vs. Long Beach (5): Here we go again. It’s the third playoff meeting in four years between the Seahawks (6-2) and Marines (5-3), with Carey winning the previous two. Long Beach took a Week 2 battle but has lost three straight. 

Conference III
Lawrence (1) vs. Bethpage (8): Can the Golden Tornadoes (8-0) be stopped? They’ve not only lit up the scoreboard, averaging 49.2 points per game, but their defense is a force. The Golden Eagles (3-5) were no match in Week 3, falling by 21.

Glen Cove (2) vs. Hewlett (7): Upset alert — the Bulldogs (4-4) held a 19-point lead over the Big Red (7-1) late in the third quarter of their Week 5 matchup before the hosts rallied to take a thrilling 20-19 decision.

Plainedge (3) vs. Lynbrook (6): Upset alert — the Owls (4-4) knocked off the Red Devils (6-2) in the regular-season finale, 17-14, and are playing their best football of the year. The offenses are led by Danny Kelly and Gianfranco Soriente, respectively.

V.S. South (4) vs. Manhasset (5): The Falcons (5-3) have won four straight and will host their first playoff game in more than a decade. They blanked the Indians (4-4), 19-0, during the streak and allowed only three touchdowns in four games.

Conference IV
Seaford (1) vs. Mineola (8): In search of their fifth county title in six years, the Vikings (8-0) will be tested down the road but is a prohibitive favorite to get past the improved Mustangs (5-3) behind quarterback Pete Adorno.

West Hempstead (2) vs. Clarke (7): It’s the Rams against the Rams. Explosive West Hempstead (7-1), led by rushers Tayvon Hall and Enrique McFarlane, has a four-game winning streak and topped Clarke (4-4) by 12 in their Week 2 meeting.

Roosevelt (3) vs. Island Trees (6): The Rough Riders (6-2) have a tough road to repeat, but the talent to do so. Johnnie Akins ran for 293 yards and two touchdowns in a 35-14 win over the Bulldogs (4-4) in Week 4.

V.S North (4) vs. Locust Valley (5): The Spartans (4-4) had an up-and-down regular season but can be dangerous if they limit turnovers. Billy Patsos has 16 touchdowns, while the Falcons (5-3) feature running backs Matt Vezza and Louie Jokinsky.