There will be a different look to the Floyd offense but don't be surprised if the results are the same. "You can't replace Stacey," Colonials quarterback A.J. Otranto said of the explosive, electrifying co-Hansen Award winner Stacey Bedell, who rushed for 2,532 yards and 39 touchdowns in 2011 including 412 yards and four long TD runs in a thrilling 54-47 victory over East Meadow in the LIC. Otranto will do his best to make Floyd just as potent with his strong arm and powerful legs.
"We'll throw the ball a lot this year," said Otranto, who relishes the return of fleet receivers Vantrell Nash, Jonathan Martinez and Corey Banks. Otranto will keep defenses honest with his own running ability.
"It's like having an extra fullback," Floyd coach Paul Longo said of his quarterback. The Colonials are also loaded at linebacker with returning All-Long Island second-teamers Miguel Brennin and Marc Coles. The unit is so deep that Otranto -- a hard hitter, of course -- will switch from linebacker to defensive back.
There's versatility at Sachem North, too, where speedy QB/S Trent Crossan returns from knee surgery and RB/LB Tyler Andreassi is a genuine two-way game-changer. The Flaming Arrows are 30-4 in the past four years, losing only to Floyd. This year's one vs. two matchup is Oct. 13 at Floyd. And don't ignore the 'other' Flaming Arrows.
Sachem East, which won its first playoff game since the district split, is a solid No. 3 seed, led by bruising Massachusetts-bound RB/LB Steven Casali.
FLOYD COLONIALS (10-2)Coach: Paul Longo, 18th season
A.J. Otranto QB 6-0, 195, Sr.
Vantrell Nash WR/C 5-11, 150, Sr.
Marc Coles FB/LB6-1, 230, Jr.
Miguel Brennin LB/RB5-11, 200, Sr.
Pat Walsh C/DE 6-0, 200, Sr.
Jonathan Martinez WR/CB5-10, 170, Sr.
Corey Banks WR/CB 6-1, 170, Sr.
About the Colonials: Defending Class I Long Island champions feature a tough, experienced quarterback in Otranto, who has an excellent fleet of fast receivers, led by Nash, Martinez and Banks. With Stacey Bedell gone, the passing game will be more prominent than in past years. Linebackers, led by Brennin and Coles, are exceptional and defensive backfield is fast and experienced.
SACHEM NORTH FLAMING ARROWS (9-2)Coach: Dave Falco, 11th season
Trent Crossan QB/S 5-9, 180, Jr.
Tyler Andreassi RB/LB5-10, 185, Sr.
Stephen Miller OL/DL 6-1, 215, Sr.
Malik Pierre, RB/LB 5-11, 195, Jr.
Anthony Ross RB/LB 5-10, 185, Jr.
Nick Dirossi OL/DL 6-2, 255, Sr.
Bryan Morris, K/P 5-9, 165, Jr.
About the Flaming Arrows: Since 2008, North's only four losses are to Floyd. A healthy Crossan is key to reversing that trend. The junior QB says he's 100 percent recovered from ACL surgery. Andreassi (328 yards rushing, 83 tackles) is a big-time, two-way threat. Pierre (478 yards, 7 TDs), is primed for a breakout season. Morris is a weapon.
SACHEM EAST FLAMING ARROWS (6-4)
Coach: Mark Wojciechowski, second season
Steve Casali RB/LB 6-2, 220, Sr.
Brian Balsamo DB/WR 6-1, 165, Sr.
Ryan Dippel DB/WR 6-1, 190, Sr.
David Foster DE/TE 6-3, 185, Sr.
Mike Marchello DT/OT 6-0, 240, Sr.
Dan Wolff QB 6-1, 180, Jr.
About the Flaming Arrows: Riding wave of first playoff victory since the districts split, East wants to establish consistency in program. Strength is a bruising running game led by Massachusetts-bound Casali, a superior linebacker, too. Dippel, Foster and Marchello lead an experienced defense. Balsamo (475 receiving yards) will be QB Dan Wolff's go-to target.
BAY SHORE MARAUDERS (4-5)
Coach: Jim Giattino, seventh season
Ousmane Camara LB/OL 6-3, 270, Sr.
Matthais Eato RB/DB 5-10, 190, Sr.
Joel Nunez WR/DB 5-11, 185, Sr.
McKinley Skinner WR/DB 6-5, 180, Sr.
Austin Clayton, OL/DL 6-3, 190, Sr.
Jake Sheets QB/DB 5-11, 190, Jr.
About the Marauders: Upset victory over Floyd was a 2011 highlight after 0-4 start, and Bay Shore wants to build on that behind big-time Division I prospect Camara (90 tackles), being recruited by Purdue among others. Eato (807 yards rushing, 11 TDs) is focal point of offense. A quick, hard-tackling defense is team's strength.
Coach: Aden Smith, first season
Jordan Wesley WR/DB 6-2, 180, Sr.
Jonathon Taylor OL/DL 5-8, 265, Sr.
John Sheridan OL/DL 6-2, 270, Sr.
Khalik Evans RB/DB 5-8, 170, Sr.
About the Lions: First-year coach Smith must rely on experienced two-way linemen Taylor and Sheridan to make a playoff run. There's speed in Wesley and Evans (4.56 at last spring's Blue Chip combine, the 2nd-fastest time), but not much experience. Several players up from the JV must make major contributions.
Coach: Kip Lukralle, 27nd season
Sean Gilroy QB/DE 6-1, 200, Sr.
Alex Egglinger OG/LB 6-0, 220, Sr.
Jon Benitez, RB/S 5-8, 175, Sr.
Kenny Radigan WR/CB 6-3, 185, Jr.
Brett Hall FB/LB 6-3, 195, Jr.
Matt Nicolai TE/LB 6-3, 185, Jr.
About the Tigers: Four starters return at the skill positions - Gilroy, Benitez, Radigan and Nicolai - and a couple of promising running backs injured last season add depth. On defense, Egglinger is a strong, athletic middle linebacker and three-year starter. Key to contending for playoff spot is progress made by inexperienced lines.
CONNETQUOT THUNDERBIRDS (1-7)
Coach: Mike Hansen, 10th season
Brian McKean QB 6-1, 190, Sr.
Ryan Renfroe RB/S 6-1, 220, Sr.
Dan Pamlanye OL/DL 5-11, 260, Sr.
Ryan Harvey RB/DB 5-9, 185, Sr.
James Higgins WR/DB 6-1, 185, Sr.
Brian Lorensten WR/D 6-1, 205, Sr.
James Elder OL/DL 5-9, 215, Sr.
About the Thunderbirds: Even though the school's new turf field with lights isn't expected to be ready and the T-birds likely will be on the road all season, there's optimism for a big turnaround. Three-year starter Pamlanye anchors both lines while Renfroe and Lorensten are drawing D-I looks. Plenty of senior experience.
LINDENHURST BULLDOGS (5-4)
Coach: Nick Lombardo, fourth season
Matt Colton OL/LB 6-2, 215, Sr.
Joe Morhardt RB/LB 6-1, 205, Sr.
Nick Charlock OL/DL 6-2, 230, Sr.
Brad Witkowski QB 5-10, 180, Jr.
Peter Mangione RB/DB 5-9 170, Jr.
Eric Cullen OL/DL 5-10, 215, Sr.About the Bulldogs: Colton has started every game for past two seasons and was an all-league linebacker with 50 tackles. Charlock and Cullen started every game last season on O-line, but Witkowski (more than 1,000 yards passing in six games) must find new set of receivers. Defense expected to keep Lindy in games.
BRENTWOOD INDIANS (2-6)
Coach: Jonathan Sorbera, second season
Marc Gatewood RB/S 5-10, 185, Sr.
David Rodriguez OT/DT6-6, 305, Sr.
Chris Maher QB 6-0, 175, Sr.
Ta'Shawn Quinitchette TE/LB 5-11, 215, Sr.
Devon Fletcher FB/LB 5-9, 190, Sr.
About the Indians: Numerous starters have graduated, giving opportunities to players like Gatewood (115 yards rushing, 41 tackles, 2 INTs) and Maher (250 yards passing with 3 TDs). Gatewood and Fletcher will run behind Rodriguez. Turnovers hurt last year and are a point of emphasis for 2012.
PATCHOGUE-MEDFORD RED RAIDERS (4-5)
Coach: Gary Marangi, first season
Joe Jaceyu OL/DL 6-5, 305, Sr.
Dominic Fucci RB/DB 5-8, 175, Sr.
Michael McKee LB 6-1, 205, Sr.
Jack Keough QB 5-8, 185, Sr.
Connor Coughlin DB/WR6-1, 190, Sr.
Carlos Rossy OL/DL 6-0 225, Sr.
Jake Horton RB/LB 5-9, 185, Jr.
About the Red Raiders: First-year coach Marangi likes his offensive line, led by D-I prospect Joseph Lacey and two-way starter Carlos Rossy. Naturally, Marangi will bring the passing game back into the Red Raiders' repertoire, behind returning QB Keough and the team's leading receiver, Coughlin. McKee led team in tackles.
COMMACK COUGARS (3-5)
Coach: Joe Reggio, seventh season
Paul Maline WR/S 6-2, 200, Sr.
John Donovan RB/LB5-9, 185, Sr.
Ryan Heizman, QB/S 6-1, 185, Sr.
Matt Greschuk, WR/S6-1, 185, Sr.
About the Cougars: A potential playoff season was derailed last year when five key players, including four captains, were injured after a 2-0 start. All-county wide receiver Maline and all-league runner Donovan give the offense some teeth. Heizman and Greschuk are experienced in the secondary.
WARD MELVILLE PATRIOTS (2-6)
Coach: Rob Neugebauer, third season
Brendan Hegarty RB/LB 6-2, 225, Sr.
Matt Corrie OL/LB 6-0, 225, Sr.
Andrew Tirelli WR/DB 6-0, 175, Sr.
Dan Nilson, OL/DL 6-2, 245, Sr.
Robert Mendez RB/LB 5-9, 190, Sr.
L.B. Nuti OL/DL6-1, 250, Jr.
About the Patriots: UMass lacrosse recruit Hegarty is also a top-notch two-way football player and leader of a team beset by injuries in 2011. Junior QB Jake Biro is expected to step in as starter. Defense has some size with Nilson and Nuti inside, while Corrie is a good-sized linebacker.
CENTRAL ISLIP MUSKETEERS (0-8)
Coach: Joe Taormina, seventh season
Malcolm Pridgeon OL/DL 6-6, 295), Jr.
Dan Thompson RB/LB 6-2, 230, Sr.
Kevin Mowatt WR/DB 6-0, 165, Jr.
Micah Bonsu WR/DB 5-7, 145, Jr.
Preston Desouza RB/DB 5-4, 155, Sr.
Justin Carasco RB/DB 5-7, 145, Jr.
About the Musketers: Pridgeon, a Division I prospect, has started every game as a two-way tackle since his sophomore season. Thompson is a four-year starter and punishing run-blocker. In a ball-control offense, little guys Desouza and Carasco will run behind Pridgeon and Thompson, who likely will have more carries this year.
HALF HOLLOW HILLS EAST THUNDERBIRDS (3-5)
Coach: Mike Patrovich, second season
R.J. Nitti QB 6-6, 230, Sr.
Rasheed Williams WR/CB5-8, 160, Sr.
Brandon Brightman WR/LB 5-8, 185, Sr.
Damon Aguilar OG/DT 6-3, 295, Sr.
Michael LaRusso OT/DE 6-1, 205, Sr.
Maleik Henry LB 6-0, 200, Sr.
About the Thunderbirds: All-county QB Nitti (1,686 yards passing, 18 TDs, ) could ease the transition from Suffolk II to Suffolk I. Williams is a dual threat (800 yards receiving, 860 yards rushing, 13 total TDs) and Brightman (700 yards receiving, 8 TDs) is another target.