Steven Ferreira's nose has mended. But the Sayville quarterback broke another record.
Ferreira, who broke his nose on Oct. 29, hit his longtime pal Tom Hannan on a 63-yard catch-and-run play with 8:43 remaining for the 69th touchdown pass of his career and led host No. 1 Sayville to a 42-14 victory over No. 6 Harborfields Saturday in a Suffolk III semifinal.
The record-breaker, Ferreira's fourth TD pass of the game, surpassed the mark of 68 held by Tony Cappozzoli (St. Dominic, 1972-75). He was 13-for-18 for 250 yards and has 25 touchdowns and 2,005 yards this season. "It definitely makes the moment more treasurable to share it with Tom," Ferreira said.
John Haggart carried 11 times for 153 yards and Zach Sirico added 71 yards on 11 carries with two touchdowns in Sayville's balanced attack. The Golden Flashes (10-0) will face No. 2 Westhampton Nov. 20 at noon at Stony Brook for the county title. Harborfields finished 5-5.
Hannan, who also snared a 24-yard scoring pass on a post-corner route that tied the record with 1:07 left in the third, said he's been catching passes from Ferreira, "since we were 6 years old." He had lobbied coach Rob Hoss earlier in the fourth quarter to run the corner route that produced the record, "because I thought I could beat my man."
Hoss agreed and Hannan got open deep down the right sideline. He made the catch, avoided a tackle with a nifty move and cut back to the middle to go the distance.
However, the most artistic play of the afternoon was Ferreira's second-quarter touchdown pass to James Rupp that covered 79 yards and showed off the quarterback's thespian skills.
"A jet play," Hoss said. "We sent a wide receiver [Tom Dieckhoff] in motion and faked the handoff. The defense bit hard, but it's a scary play because Steven has to sit back there for a long time and the line has to hold its blocks."
Ferreira stood tall in the pocket for several seconds after his ball-fake, casually hiding the ball on his hip while he waited for Rupp to break free down the left sideline. "That's what makes the play," he said. Ferreira then launched a perfect pass to Rupp.
"I had confidence in my line the whole time," Ferreira said. "We practiced the play a few times, but it's the first time we tried it in a game."
Rupp, another longtime friend of Ferreira's, had caught the pass that broke Cappozzoli's yardage record on Oct. 15. "They've been his go-to guys his whole career," Hoss said. "It's nice to share the records with them."