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Sachem Beats William Floyd who suffers first regular-season loss in seven years

Varsity vs William Floyd HS on 9/11/2009 6:00:00 PM
Posted Friday, September 11, 2009 by LIBlitz.com

 
Many high school fans in Suffolk County are talking about the unexpected result Friday night in Mastic Beach. For the first time in seven years, the William Floyd Colonials lost a regular-season football game. Travis Nardello, competing in his first varsity game, kicked a 23-yard field goal with two seconds remaining to boost Sachem North to a 17-14 victory.
 
Speedy Devon Lawrence scored both Sachem North touchdowns, including a 72-yard burst in the third quarter. While the Sachem North players and coaches celebrated, some Floyd players looked stunned moments after their 2009 Hall of Fame game. "The mood in the locker room is like a boxer in the 12th round who just lost a fight," said Floyd senior lineman Ivy France. "I am very surprised."
 
Another senior lineman, Kevin Hauter, said he felt "disbelief."
"Honestly, I think (Sachem North) played a good game and we were not on the top of ours," said Hauter. "We didn't come together at all. We were not jelling like we usually do."
 
An inconsistent offense hindered the Colonials, who were the top-seeded team in the preseason rankings for Suffolk Division I. Seventh-seeded Sachem North stopped Floyd's record-setting 48-game winning streak for Division I regular-season games. The Colonials had produced six straight undefeated Division I seasons.
 
Coach Paul Longo, after only the fourth loss in the last 65 games, sat quietly with some of his assistants as his players quietly departed their locker room.
 
"I thought Sachem played a good game and we didn't," said Longo. "We shot ourselves in the foot. We took penalties on offense. Sometimes we went the wrong way. We played poorly on offense; not up to our potential."
 
After a heavy rain prior to the 6 p.m. kickoff on Friday, the two teams competed on a soggy, muddy turf, which helped Sachem North, said coach Dave Falco. "The weather played to our favor," said Falco. "The field was sloppy and slowed them down."
 
After a scoreless first quarter, Floyd scored on its fourth possession. Luke Miller, who often showed power on his runs, went three years to the end with 6:23 remaining in the second quarter. Sachem North, which never looked intimidated, marched 74 yards soon after. Lawrence broke free to dart 34 yards up the middle untouched to the end zone, and Nardello converted the extra point for a 7-6 halftime edge.
 
The Colonials found themselves in a unfamiliar position. Floyd during the previous four seasons, had frequently dominated opponents in the first half and built a big lead. "It was unexpected, very surprising," said the 5-5, 145-pound Astore. "It was, definitely, a change. At halftime, our heads were down. We should have had our heads up."
 
Some Floyd players did appear nervous. Rarely have they they faced a pressure situation in the second half. On the first play of the third quarter, Lawrence erupted for a 72-yard TD sprint and Nardello converted for a 14-6 margin.
 
The Floyd offense continued to struggle, and the home fans saw more and more reason to worry. One Floyd fan shouted "C'mon guys wake up!."

One of the Floyd players yelled "Step it up offense." On their last possession, the Colonials drove for the equalizer. The drive began after linebacker Bobby DeSilva recovered a Sachem North fumble near midfield. With 3:03 on the clock, Moore connected with wide receiver Ricky Stoner for a seven-yard TD pass.

On the two-point play, Miller powered to the end end zone and the Floyd fans felt better with a 14-14 tie. Sachem North then stepped right back onto the field, moving more than 60 yards to the home team's seven-yard line. After each team took a timeout, Nardello showed poise as he kicked the game-winning field goal.

The Colonials went home feeling disappointed, but Longo stressed that the players need to remember this was just the season opener and they are stilling aiming to advance to the Suffolk playoffs in November.
"I am thinking about getting back on the horse and getting ready to play the next game," said France.

William Floyd faces a short week. The Colonials travel to Lindenhurst (1-0) on Sept. 17. That game will be a rematch of the 2008 Suffolk second-round playoffs when Lindenhurst won 24-21 at Floyd.
 

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