Blue Devils Prep for Regular Season Finale

Huntington quarterback John Paci has the ball. (Darin Reed photo.)

October 26, 2016

The Huntington High School football team has the playoffs in its sights heading into the final game of the regular season. The Blue Devils will travel to Smithtown East on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m.

Huntington is 4-3 and in sixth place in 13-team Suffolk Division II. A victory will clinch a post-season berth. “We are approaching this game like we do every game,” said Steve Muller, the Blue Devils’ veteran head coach. “We plan on playing hard from whistle to whistle. It’s all about execution, the rest is just conversation. We figure that Smithtown East will come out raring to go and we need to be ready.”

Smithtown East has claimed victories over Smithtown West (28-14), Riverhead (24-0), Deer Park (42-19) and Copiague (21-20). The Bulls dropped games to Centereach (26-0), North Babylon (35-6) and Bellport (28-7).

Teams qualify for the playoffs based upon their power rating, which is derived via a mathematical formula related to the strength of each opponent.

The current Suffolk Division II standings are:

  1. West Islip 7-0 161.990
  2. North Babylon 6-1 144.280
  3. Half Hollow Hills West 5-2 135.850
  4. Bellport 6-1 129.910
  5. Newfield 4-3 129.560
  6. Huntington 4-3 115.760
  7. Centereach 4-3 108.900
  8. Smithtown East 4-3 106.480
  9. Deer Park 2-5 101.050
  10. Half Hollow Hills East 2-5 96.330
  11. Riverhead 1-6 90.480
  12. Smithtown West 1-6 82.330
  13. Copiague 0-7 55.400

The Blue Devils dropped their first two games of the season to Newfield (34-14) and Half Hollow Hills West (39-6), but have gone 4-1 since then with victories over Smithtown West (42-20), Centereach (14-9), Half Hollow Hills East (20-19) and Copiague (49-0). Huntington lost at home last weekend to first place West Islip, 28-7.

“We are playing well, but need to keep reducing our mistakes,” Muller said. “Everyone has a job to do and we need them to do it. We need to block and tackle and exploit whatever weakness our opponent has. At this point of the season every single play is big. We can’t let up.”

Blue Devil fans braved last Satuday's rain to cheer for the home team. (Darin Reed photo.)
The Blue Devils are ready for the cooler fall temperatures. (Darin Reed photo.)
Jose Veliz is Huntington's talented placekicker. (Darin Reed photo.)