It was widely predicted before the season that a Floyd linebacker would be walking up to accept the Bob Collotta Award as the best linebacker in Suffolk at the Suffolk County Coaches Association dinner.
Dashawn Morton, Floyd's imposing senior middle linebacker at 6-foot, 250 pounds, was bestowed with the award during a presentation Monday night at the Hyatt Regency Wind Watch in Hauppauge.
Morton took over the role of defensive leader when Floyd's returning All-Long Island linebacker Marc Coles was lost to a torn ACL during the preseason.
"Dashawn did a great job," Floyd coach Paul Longo said. "I think Marc was a heavy favorite [for the Collotta]. For Dashawn to have the kind of season he had for us and to help us go as far as he did was huge. He played like the best linebacker in Suffolk County when we lost the best linebacker in Suffolk County."
Morton's size and strength made him a force in the middle.
"He's very athletic for a big guy," Longo said. "He's a 250-pound high school linebacker, he's a hard hitter and he has speed. He delivered some of the best hits I've seen all year."
Morton's big plays in Floyd's biggest games matched his large stature. Morton had 12 tackles in the Colonials' dominant 42-14 win over eventual Long Island champ Sachem North.
"He was a huge factor in us winning that game," Longo said. "He made a huge impact."
Morton followed that game with 13 tackles against Sachem East.
"They tried to run up the middle -- anybody that tried to run up the middle, he was like a policeman there," Longo said. "He stopped guys from doing that when he was healthy. People were having a hard time running on us up the middle."
Defensive end Jawan Jenkins made it hard for anyone to go to the outside, combining with Morton to wreak havoc on opposing offenses.
"Jawan did a great job at defensive end and having Dashawn at middle linebacker made us tough in the box," Longo said. "It was awesome to have those two guys."
It was awesome for Floyd to be able to plug in the best linebacker in Suffolk County when needed.
"We spoke about him being the enforcer there and being the tough guy before the season," Longo said. "We were going to lean on him a lot offensively and defensively and it was tough because he's so big and carrying a lot of weight. For him to be so dominant on defense was a testament."