Chris Faison's running style resembles a bouncing pinball. The more contact, the more scoring.
"He is the most violent runner I've ever seen," Floyd coach Paul Longo said of Faison, who transferred in from Longwood partway into the season and transformed the Colonials' offense. "And I mean that in a positive way. He seeks out collisions."
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It's not that Faison minds running in the open field -- he has gained a team-best 783 yards in eight games, averaging 9.44 yards per carry with nine touchdowns -- it's just that his method of getting there differs from many of Long Island's top runners.
Faison seems to avoid the sidelines at all costs. The junior would rather turn upfield into traffic, absorb a couple of hits, and keep moving forward.
In Floyd's 61-27 victory over Sachem East at Stony Brook last Sunday in the Suffolk I title game, Faison had TD runs of 11 and 16 yards, plowing over two tacklers at the goal line on the first score. "I just keep my motor going and my legs moving," Faison said.
That was also evident on his 11-yard tackle-breaker on the Colonials' first play from scrimmage as well as a 15-yard rumble that set up Floyd's second touchdown early in the second quarter. Faison's willingness to take on opposing tacklers, despite a modest 5-10, 175-pound frame, often softens the defense for Floyd's other big-play runner, Diamonte Corley. The 5-9, 150 pound senior twice scored on 59-yard jaunts against Sachem East, using his blazing speed to reach the end zone untouched.
"This is the best offensive team I've ever played on," Faison said, "and we have a hardworking offensive line."
It took a while for Faison to adjust to his new teammates, who face Farmingdale in Thursday night's Long Island Class I title game 7:30 p.m. at Hofstra. He did not join the Colonials until Week 4, which just happened to be a game against his former school. He rushed for 114 yards in a satisfying 48-6 victory.
"I was anxious to play, but it meant a little extra that it was against Longwood," Faison said. "When I first got here, I knew we had a great offense. It was a challenge to fit in."
Longo agreed. "He needed to get vertical more, go forward instead of wide," the coach said. "And he had to learn our packages -- we run the spread, the wing-T and the I. It was a lot to learn but he picked it up."
And now he's laying 'em down.