No one is labeling it a “must win” game, but the Huntington varsity football team will clearly be looking for a victory when it hosts Centereach on Saturday at 2 p.m. before a Homecoming Day crowd.
Huntington is 1-2 and a victory would let the Blue Devils climb to .500 and pull a few spots closer to a potential playoff berth. Centereach won’t go down easy. The Cougars are coming into the game with a 3-1 record after shutting out Copiague on its home field last weekend, 26-0.
The Blue Devils opened the season with road losses to Newfield (34-14) and Half Hollow Hills West (39-6) before toppling visiting Smithtown West, 42-20. Huntington had a bye last week.
Centereach defeated Smithtown West to open to the fall campaign, 14-7. The Cougars then lost to Bellport, 36-20 before edging Half Hollow Hills East (7-0) and Copiague.
Bellport and West Islip currently sit atop Suffolk Division II with 4-0 records. North Babylon, Smithtown East and Centereach are all 3-1. Hills West is 2-1 and Newfield and Hills East are both 2-2.
Huntington is looking for its offense to click on Saturday and establish itself early in the game. Two weeks ago against Smithtown West, Blue Devil running back Kei’ Ron Byrams ran for 141 yards on 16 carries. Jared Leake rushed seven times for 80 yards. Taqwan Gooden-Hill had a pair of receptions for 39 yards. Quarterback John Paci threw for 101 yards. Anthony McDonald led the defense with 10 tackles.
The Blue Devil coaching staff led by Steve Muller has been focusing on Centereach’s offensive and defensive packages and how to counter them. A large crowd is expected for the game.
“We’ll be ready for the game,” Muller said.