Marc Coles is all about hitting someone, anyone, in an opposing uniform. The unheralded two-way star isn't interested in accolades or stats. He is focused on one goal: a Long Island Class I football championship.
"Anything short of an LIC is a failure," said Coles, a fullback and linebacker. "Our goal since training camp was to win the LIC. And we're one win away."
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Floyd took a giant step toward that end Sunday, capturing its fourth straight Suffolk I title with a 61-27 victory over Sachem East at Stony Brook University's LaValle Stadium.
Defending Class I champion Floyd (9-2), which gained 484 yards against Sachem East and scored 40 points in the second half, will meet Farmingdale (10-1) for the Long Island Class I crown at 3 p.m. Friday at Hofstra University's Shuart Stadium.
The Colonials scored on nine of 10 possessions in the game, including six straight as they put the game away in the second half.
Coles played an integral role in all that scoring. He repeatedly picked up blitzing linebackers, giving quarterback A.J. Otranto time to throw, and cleared the way for halfbacks Diamonte Corley (164 yards on 10 carries, two rushing touchdowns, one TD reception) and Chris Faison (140 yards on 10 carries, two TDs).
Floyd won despite a monster game by Sachem East's Steven Casali, who rushed for 272 yards and four TDs on 39 carries.
"They couldn't stop our offense, but we allowed them to control the clock for long amounts of time, and that kept them in the game through the first half," Floyd coach Paul Longo said. "And I thought Coles had a great game on both sides of the ball."
Otranto finished with three touchdown passes, giving him 21 this season. "I love this game and it's why I get up in the morning," he said. "Football is what I live for. I owe my success to the blocking of my offensive line and my backs. Without them, I am nothing."
The Floyd offense was efficient in the first half, scoring on its first three possessions. Otranto found Vantrell Nash for a 19-yard touchdown pass and added a 23-yard strike to a wide-open Corley for a 14-6 lead with 8:07 left in the half.
After the defense forced a three-and-out, Billy Kaastra returned the punt 31 yards to the Sachem East 30. Two plays later, Faison followed a huge block from Coles and bulled two defenders into the end zone for an 11-yard scoring run and a 21-6 lead.
Sachem East (6-5) immediately battled back with a 15-play, 77-yard touchdown drive. The Flaming Arrows, keyed by two 10-yard passes to wide receiver Brian Balsamo, moved within 21-12 when Casali rumbled over left end for a 12-yard TD run with 22 seconds left in the half, capping a drive that lasted 5:29.
Kaastra knocked away the two-point conversion pass intended for Ryan Dippel. So Sachem East held a big edge in time of possession in the first half, 16:48-7:12, but trailed by nine.
"That was huge for Steven to come up with that touchdown," Sachem East coach Mark Wojciechowski said. "But their offensive line was dominating and continued to drive us off the ball in the second half."
Floyd brought a 42-19 lead into the fourth quarter after Corley followed Faison's 16-yard touchdown run with two 59-yard TD runs.
"I'm very proud of our program," Longo said. "We were firing on all cylinders on offense, and when they jammed the box, we made them pay with our vertical game. It's a nice combination when the run can open the pass. And Coles is the key. Just a great player at fullback and linebacker clearing the way for our backs by isolating defenders and taking them out of the play."
Casali's outstanding effort drew praise from Longo, too.
"I'm glad we're done playing against him," he said. "He's a great player."