CLASS I CONNETQUOT VS. FREEPORT
Friday, noon, at Hofstra
Both of these teams were preseason No. 6 seeds and win with disciplined play and resilient defense. Freeport opened the season with five straight wins before getting thumped by Hempstead. The Red Devils righted the ship and reeled off five more wins, including a 16-10 comeback victory over Farmingdale in the Conference I semifinals.
Quarterback Erick Lapice has been the key to an explosive offense and his decision-making is vital. The backfield tandem of Jules Harvey and Kevin Allen will have to find running room against a very physical defense.
The T-Birds use a methodical running game that likes to punish the defense. The T-Birds do not boast the flash of the Freeport spread. They pound the ball up the middle of the field with halfback Joe Zuco. Quarterback Ryan Andersen has made big plays all season and relies on playmaker Jon Sternbach and Matt Nason to find space in the secondary. The T-Birds also play inspired defense behind a group of outstanding linebackers led by captains Jeremy Leggiero and John Smith. But they haven't seen the speed of Freeport and if Lapice is allowed to freelance, the T-Birds will be in trouble.
Both teams sport excellent special teams play and Sternbach is the wild card game breaker here. This matchup offers two very different styles of football and that makes it very interesting.
SARRA - Connetquot
HERZOG - Freeport