They're back. And they're on a big- time roll.
It's the postseason and for all those doubters who thought this might be a down year for Floyd football, think again. Floyd football is hot. The Colonials, winners of five straight, are peaking just in time for a championship run.
"We lost a couple of games and people were down on us," said Floyd coach Paul Longo. "But our guys continue to improve each week and continue to work toward the ultimate goal of winning a title. Tradition is steep here in Mastic Beach. And the players have a lot of pride in our school."
Floyd showed yesterday why they will not be an easy out in the Suffolk I playoffs. Senior halfback Chris Faison ripped off two second-quarter touchdown runs to stimulate a lackluster offense and Floyd went on beat Patchogue-Medford, 48-20, before a crowd of more than 1,800 in a Suffolk I quarterfinal game in Mastic Beach.
No. 4 Floyd (7-2), the two-time defending Long Island Class I champions, will play at No. 1 Commack (9-0) in a semifinal on Saturday at 1 p.m.
Faison's first scoring run was a beauty. On a third-and 10 with 7:27 left in the half, the physical back burst around left end, stiff armed a would-be tackler and raced 80 yards for the score. P.J. DeMaio's kick made it 14-0.
"I got hit right at the line and just buried the guy with a straight arm," said Faison, who finished with 163 yards on 12 carries and only played the first half. "I pride myself on breaking that first tackle and making something happen."
On the Raiders next possession, the first of Brian Iannone's two interceptions set the Colonials up at the Patchogue-Medford 30. Two plays later, Faison followed a huge block from center Steven Rendino for a 25-yard touchdown run with 4:33 left in the half as the Colonials took a 21-0 lead.
"He's the best, a real game changer, as tough as they come," said Floyd quarterback Eric Brust. "And we're getting valuable experience and peaking at just the right time. It was a very good win."
After a scoreless first quarter, it was Brust that opened the scoring with a perfect 45-yard touchdown pass to a streaking Bill Kaastra, who was wide open and scored untouched with 10:36 left in the half.
"He put that one right on the money," said Longo, who earned his 150th career win in 19 years. "The defense came up in the box and he threw a beautiful pass to get us going."
With Faison sitting out the second half with an undisclosed illness, senior halfback Condell Sutton added a 31-yard touchdown run and senior halfback Vin Labate bulled his way in for a 2-yard scoring run as the Colonials added two third -quarter touchdowns to open a 34-0 lead with 1:32 left.
It was like old times for Floyd as Longo cleared the bench before the end of the third quarter.
Patchogue quarterback Anthony Lee, who was brilliant this season, helped the Raiders avert the shutout when he hit Connor Coughlin with a 16-yard scoring pass with 29 seconds left in the third quarter.
But Lee's third interception was returned 42 yards by Kaastra for a pick six in the fourth. He threw for 226 second-half yards and finished with 322 yards on 24 on 33 passing and three scores.
"They beat us up early this year," Longo said of Patchogue's 31-7 win over Floyd in Week 3. "Today, was a different story."