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Sachem beats Floyd 40-6 The Floyd Perspective

Posted Monday, October 18, 2010 by Jim Furlong
In first-place showdown, Sachem North gains revenge, dominates William Floyd 40-6 to delight homecoming crowd.

BY JIM FURLONG
 
Undefeated Sachem North scored three quick touchdowns and and rolled to a 40-6 knockout of William Floyd on Oct. 15."I was devastated. I am shocked by the score," said junior linebacker Rajiv Herron. "We could beat them, but we just didn't do the job on defense. I think we did stupid mistakes."

For the first time since 2002, the Colonials have lost back-to-back games.

Floyd suffered its most lopsided loss since 1992 -- a 39-0 setback against Connetquot. Sachem North, now 6-0 this season, avenged its 27-6 loss last November in the Suffolk Division I championship game and reinforced its status as the premier 2010 public school team in Suffolk. Coach David Falco's program, which is currently ranked No. 4 for all varsity teams in New York State, has won 16 of its last 17 games. "That victory makes them think they are the best team out there,' said junior running back Stacy Bedell, who was limited to 44 yards on 17 carries. "We had a lot of mistakes on offense, defense and special teams." The Colonials (4-2) dropped to fourth place in the division, also behind Longwood (5-1) and Connetquot (5-1).
Floyd lost for only the second time in its last 31 road games.

About two hours after the lopsided duel ended, coach Paul Long and defensive coordinator Gil DiCicco stood in Floyd locker room watching the game video. "Awful, awful," Longo said. "We made huge mistakes. You can't play a bad game against a good team because you are going to be blown out. You can't give them touchdowns for free. You have to make them earn it." The Colonials had plenty of missed tackles, dropped passes and fumbles. On a chilly night in Lake Ronkonkoma, more than 3,000 spectators and a MSG Varsity audience watching a live TV broadcast, saw the Flaming Arrows surge to delight the large majority of the Homecoming crowd.

Sachem North produced three touchdowns in the first 4/1/2 minutes. On his team's third play, Dalton Crossan burst through the middle of the Floyd defense and sprinted 70 yards to the end zone. On the Colonials' second snap, sophomore quarterback A.J. Otranto fumbled and standout linebacker Jesse Scanna alertly grabbed the football in the air and moved 37 yards to the end zone. Crossan, with 7:46 remaining in the first quarter, completed a 85-yard kickoff return. "(Floyd) had some breakdowns they don't normally have," said Falco. "The fumble and kickoff return, take that away and it is a different game. When you go up two scores, it changes the complexion of the game."

Floyd's lone offensive highlight came 13 seconds before Crossan's second touchdown. Otranto launched a long accurate pass along with left sideline. Junior wide receiver Kenny Grimm made the catch behind two defenders and finished a 61-yard play for this first varsity touchdown. Sachem North built a 26-6 halftime advantage when Scanna outbattled Bedell in the end zone. Scanna, certainly one of the most-versatile and valuable players on Long Island, jumped for a 21-yard TD pass from senior quarterback Angelo Armine. That proved the Flaming Arrows' only pass during 48 minutes, but the home team rushed for 342 yards. For the second week in a row, the Colonials lost both sides of the line of scrimmage to opposing linemen (including a 22-13 loss at Longwood). Falco said he thought both lines were "comparable.

"Where we had the advantage is the second level," said Falco, meaning his linebackers against the Floyd running backs and his multiple, talented  runners against the Floyd linebackers. "We have an older, more experienced team." Hundreds of Floyd fans, many shivering in a strong, steady wind on the visitors' side of Fred Fusaro Alumni Stadium, were stunned by the first-quarter results. Their repeated shouts of "C'mon defense" and "Wrap Up" were in vain.

Sachem North produced a versatile rushing attack, mixing power, aggressiveness and skilled ball handling. The offensive linemen sparkled with effective trap blocking. On defense, the linebacker were alert, quick-reacting and swarmed to the ball carrier. "I am impressed by their speed on offense. That they were that fast," said Herron. Senior two-way standout Mike Andreassi rushed for a game-high 118 yards on 18 carries. He scored Sachem North's last TD, a seven-yard run late in the fourth quarter. Scanna burst loose for a a 71-yard TD gallop in the third quarter. The 205-pound Scanna, who can bench press more than 300 pounds, totaled 87 yards on five carries.

Both Andreassi and Scanna said they wanted "revenge" after losing the 2009 Suffolk final. The Flaming Arrows, with several talented, experienced seniors, showed more savvy. "We are the top team at the moment," said Falco. "We respect Floyd as a quality program. We try to emulate them." The Colonials, who are using many sophomores, got close to the end zone once on their 10 possessions. "We have good drives, but we can't finish," said Longo.

In the last 14 quarters, Floyd has scored only four offensive touchdowns. "Trust me. I know," said Longo. Sturdy senior Luke Miller paced the Floyd ground game with 58 yards on 11 carries. Senior linebacker Will Brooks, who also made some solid blocks at fullback, did not show much emotion after his team's drubbing. It was surprising, (but) honestly it doesn't hurt," said Brooks. "It is the (regular-season) and not the playoffs. We are going to come back and beat Connetquot and we will see Sachem North in the playoffs." Longo was angry because Sachem North kept its starters in late in fourth quarter with a 27-point lead. The Flaming Arrows, however, did not run up the score -- only one touchdown in the last 18 minutes. Longo wanted to use his reserves with five minutes to go. He said Falco should have felt "safe enough" with a 33-6 margin. Falco said his team's sixth TD, with 90 seconds remaining, was caused by "mis-communication." "I was not trying to score," said Falco. The Flaming Arrows started seven players both ways and Falco does not have a deep bench. He had 36 players dressed, but did not make "wholesale changes." Falco wanted to save some players so they were eligible in the JV game.

The Colonials now prepare for their annual Homecoming game on Oct. 23. Connetequot will travel to Mastic Beach with a two-game winning streal follwing a 45-0 drubbin by Sachem North on Oct. 2. "There is a sense of urgency for this game,' said Longo. "We have to get going in the right direction. We can still go 6-2 and go far in the (November) playoffs." Floyd has won nine consecutive games against Connetquot. The Thunderbirds have not conquered the Colonials since 1999. Longo's teams own a 11-1  record against Connetquot.

The Thunderbirds dominated winless Sachem East 34-0 last weekend. If the Colonials win, they will clinch a home game in the first round of the 2010 playoffs.

NOTES -- Floyd lost for only the second time in the last 18 games against Sachem's two teams.
The Colonials competed on live TV for the second time in a three-week span. Sachem played on live TV for the first time since its program started in 1959. Falco said his biggest regular-season victory came last season when the Flaming Arrows invaded Mastic Beach and beat Floyd 17-14 in the 2009 opener.
The Colonials have scored 141 points in six games, and have missed at least six extra point kicks. Sachem North leads the division in scoring offense (averaging 38 points per game -- best among the 54 Suffolk public school teams) and scoring defense (7.1 points).
In Longo's 152 games as the head coach, Sachem North is only the fourth opponent to score more than 39 points.
In another first-place showdown on Oct. 23, Sachem North will host Longwood, which owns a five-game winning streak.

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