Faison, William Floyd advance to Div. I final
The playoff round and the venue changed. But the outcome was the same. For the fourth consecutive season, Floyd eliminated Sachem North from the postseason. This time, the Colonials rode the hard running of halfback Chris Faison and a stingy defense to a 32-7 victory over Sachem North in a Suffolk I playoff semifinal before 1,800 in Lake Ronkonkoma.
Faison and Floyd quarterback A.J. Otranto rushed for two touchdowns each and Chris Hurtado added field goals of 30 and 26 yards as Floyd erased a 7-0 deficit and scored 32 unanswered points. The loss ended Sachem North's 23-game home winning streak.
"They hadn't lost at home in three years and they'd been playing very well," Floyd coach Paul Longo said. "We started a bit slow and turned the ball over a few times. But we settled down and I thought the defense did a great job."
Floyd (8-2), which beat Sachem North in the Suffolk final the past three years, next week plays the winner of Saturday's Sachem East-Connetquot game for the Suffolk I title.
The Colonials put a lid on this one when Faison went over left tackle, spun away from one defender and raced 98 yards for the final score in the fourth quarter. He finished with 146 yards on eight carries and he caught three passes for 37 yards. On defense, he had three tackles for a loss and forced a fumble.
"Coach Longo has been working with me on getting vertical and running downhill and it's changed my game," Faison said. "Our line did a great job and we really got it going in the second half."
It all started well for Sachem North (7-3). Malik Pierre capped a seven-play, 45-yard drive with a 14-yard touchdown run. Bryan Morris added the kick to make it 7-0 with 7:33 left in the first period.
That was the last time Sachem reached the end zone. Floyd answered with a 10-play, 74-yard drive punctuated by an 8-yard scoring run by Otranto. His swing pass to Faison resulted in a 24-yard gain to set up the score. "[Faison] had an amazing game," Otranto said. "We really wanted this one."
Hurtado's 30-yard field goal made it 9-7 at the half. Floyd came out with a well-placed pooch kick by Hurtado to open the second half. The ball bounded inside the Sachem North 30 and was recovered by Billy Kaastra at the 26. The turnover resulted in a TD when Faison went off left tackle, stiff-armed two defenders and scored to give the Colonials a 15-7 lead with 8:50 left in the third quarter. They never looked back.