A.J. Otranto's air and ground attack lead Floyd past Sachem North, 36-3
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A.J. Otranto is a dual threat. When he wasn't dropping passes over the linebackers and in front of the safeties, he was running for big yardage.
The Floyd quarterback dissected a Sachem North secondary that kept as many as seven men in coverage in an attempt to stop the Colonials passing attack. And when the coverage was tight, he'd tuck it and go.
Otranto threw for two first quarter scores as the Colonials built a 17-point halftime lead on the way to a 36-3 win Saturday before a crowd of more than 1,300 in Mastic Beach.
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"He certainly finds the open window and throws through it," Floyd coach Paul Longo said. "He throws so well. But he's also a threat to run. Some of his big plays come when he scrambles away from the pressure and takes off."
It was a battle of two teams that have started to go in different directions. Floyd (5-1) won for the fifth straight game and Sachem North (4-2) lost for the second week in a row.
Otranto picked apart Sachem's zone defense in the first quarter. His first scoring strike came from 33 yards, an aerial to a wide-open Vantrell Nash. Chris Hurtado added the kick to make it 7-0 with 8:03 left. It was the seventh touchdown reception for Nash.
On the Colonials' next possession, he fired a short down and out to Nick Natale, who turned up the home sideline and dove inside the pylon for a 17-yard score and a 13-0 lead. The pass punctuated an eight-play, 57-yard march highlighted by a 16-yard pass to Corey Banks.
Otranto wasn't done. His 24-yard pass to Nash set up a Vin Labate 1-yard scoring run for a 20-0 lead with 9:12 left in the half.
Sachem North (4-2), decimated by injuries, did little in the way of offense on its first three possessions. The absence of junior halfbacks Trent Crossan and Anthony Ross and sophomore Kevin Bragaglia stalled an offense that was outgained at one point, 193-3.
"Our defense was working together and everyone was doing their job," said Floyd defensive tackle Chris Winters, who had six tackles. "Sachem always has a great team and we have a tough game. So we get up for them."
Without their super back Crossan, who scored 11 touchdowns through three games, the Flaming Arrows switched to an I-formation and tried to power the ball into the teeth of the Floyd defense.
The Flaming Arrows showed life in the second quarter when halfback Tyler Andreassi, who gutted out 92 yards on 17 carries in the game, broke a 37-yard run to set up a Bryan Morris 25-yard field goal. There was a measure of pride for them," said Otranto, who completed 10 of 16 passes for 190 yards and added a 20-yard scoring run. "Sachem North is a proud program and we knew they weren't going to quit. We have a lot of respect for them."
Otranto added 77 yards on nine rushes but the ground game featured the hard running of junior Chris Faison, who had one of the year's most spectacular touchdown runs.
Faison took a handoff over left tackle and was met head on in the hole by Andreassi. Faison bounced off the hit, broke another tackle in the backfield and made his way to the perimeter where he raced up the sideline for a 60-yard touchdown.
"It was a circus run, where he just refused to go down," Longo said. "He was bouncing around with nowhere to go and then out of nowhere he's flying down the sideline. It was outrageous."