Steven Ferreira can shave now.
The Sayville quarterback, who decided in the summer not to shave until his team won the Long Island Class III championship, wore a teenager's scruffy beard under his helmet last Sunday when the Golden Flashes defeated Lawrence, 78-61, in the highest-scoring football game in L.I. history.
"We wanted to go 12-0 and win the LIC," said Ferreira, holding the championship trophy high over his head. "There's no better feeling in the world."
Ferreira didn't get full support from teammates on his no-shave policy -- "Some of them couldn't grow it in," he said with a smirk -- but his razor-sharp passing was a key reason the Golden Flashes had a perfect season with a historic ending. Along the way, he made some history of his own.
The 6-1, 185-pound senior completed 139 of 216 passes (a 64.4 percentage) for 2,443 yards and 29 touchdowns with only five interceptions. That allowed him to establish L.I. career records for total yardage (6,411) and touchdown passes (73).
"He's always so poised in the huddle," said Tom Hannan, Ferreira's friend since they were children, who led the Flashes with 43 receptions for 905 yards and 11 TDs. "He's so calm. And he's dead-on with his passes every time."
Because defenses had to respect Ferreira's pinpoint passing out of the spread, they couldn't concentrate on junior running backs John Haggart (1,285 yards, 14 TDs) and Zach Sirico (1,043 yards, 15 TDs).
But from the start, the only numbers that really mattered to Sayville were victories. "I didn't think much about the records," Ferreira said.
"He never brought it up," Hannan said. "As long as we were winning, no one cared about stats."
A loss to Lynbrook in last year's LIC left a bitter taste. "Losing last year was the driving force for this team," Sayville coach Rob Hoss said. "It's the first time we've ever lost on the big stage . At Sayville, the bar is set at the Long Island championship. Anything less and it's not a successful year."
So the victories and the stats piled up. With the exception of that dreadful day on Oct. 28 when Sayville beat Kings Park, 18-6, in harsh weather conditions, the Golden Flashes scored at least 28 points in every game, exceeding 40 six times. None really was close.
They cruised through the playoffs and into a showdown with another offensive juggernaut, Lawrence, that produced a combined 139 points and 1,276 yards on the turf at Stony Brook's LaValle Stadium. It is believed to be the highest-scoring football game ever played in New York.
Sirico (224 yards, six touchdowns) and Haggart (141 yards, two TDs) stole the show from Ferreira (10-for-14, 225 yards, two TDs), who did directing instead of starring.
"That's Steven. He was more than happy to just manage the game," Hoss said. "We found something in the double-back set and they didn't adjust. We used John as a battering ram [blocker] on some runs and he just pancaked people and opened lanes for Zach."