Malik Pierre does it all as Sachem North beats Floyd to win Suffolk I title

Sachem North running back Malik Pierre (no.5) scores Sachem North running back Malik Pierre (no.5) scores the first touchdown of the game during the second quarter against William Floyd. (Nov. 24, 2013) Photo Credit: George A. Faella

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When Malik Pierre outleaped a receiver for his second interception of the game, the chants rang out from the Sachem North side of the field:

"LIC! LIC! LIC!''

There was vigorous applause, too. That was muffled, though, because nearly everyone was wearing gloves to ward off the bitter cold.

For the Flaming Arrows, however, Sunday's Suffolk I championship game was all about the win-chill factor. Forget the temperatures, they were catching fire.

They finally ended their streak of futility against Floyd, and they finally were county champions.

"It's the best feeling in the world,'' Pierre said after he caught a touchdown pass, threw for another score and ran for a touchdown to go with his two interceptions, leading Sachem North to a 28-7 victory over four-time defending county champion Floyd at Stony Brook's LaValle Stadium.

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The Colonials (8-3), also the two-time defending Long Island Class I champs, had eliminated Sachem North in the county playoffs in each of the previous four years, three times in the final.

"It would be great no matter what, but Floyd . . . Honestly, they messed up my entire high school career,'' Pierre, a senior, said with a hearty laugh. "So beating them is great.''

It was the school's first county championship since 1995 and the first for coach Dave Falco, who is in his 11th season.

Next up for Sachem North (9-2) is Farmingdale (11-0) in the Long Island Class I championship game at 4:30 p.m. Saturday at Stony Brook.

Pierre opened the scoring late in the second quarter with a 45-yard scamper after grabbing a quick screen from fourth-string quarterback Mike Licata.

After tailback Trent Crossan (eight carries, 70 yards) broke free for a 44-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, Pierre hit Licata on a throwback option pass for a 26-yard touchdown and a 21-0 lead.

Floyd running back Chris Faison, bottled up for nearly the entire game by a swarming Sachem North defense led by linebackers Chris Biryla and George Carrion, popped loose on a fourth-and-1 for a 50-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter. Faison gained 87 yards on 18 carries.

But Pierre (86 yards on 14 carries) busted the ghosts of playoffs past with his own fourth-and-1 explosion, a 39-yard dash on a power sweep. That made it 28-7.

"This is awesome. I've played on some great teams here, but I knew this team was something different, something special,'' said Crossan, clearly thrilled to be able to contribute.

This is the third season in which he has missed significant time with an injury. He battled an ankle sprain and torn ankle ligaments this season.

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Crossan, who was driven from the game by a hard hit in the third quarter, said he was administered concussion tests on the sideline and advised not to go back into the game. Falco said Crossan will be evaluated by doctors Monday to determine if he can play against Farmingdale.

But moments before that hit, Crossan showed a glimmer of his once-blazing speed on his touchdown run.

"It was a zone play. You read it and if you see a hole, you hit it,'' Crossan said. "It definitely felt great getting into the end zone. I had a little limp but I got it done.''

"Trent is an absolute warrior,'' said Falco, who was embraced on the field by family and friends as a celebration took place all around him.

He added, "Any time you can play with, let alone beat, a program like William Floyd and coach [Paul] Longo and his staff, it's like beating Alabama.''

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Finally, in Suffolk County at least, Sachem North is No. 1, too.

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