He's here, he's gone. He's there, he's gone. It was like that all season for opposing defenses. Dalton Crossan was in plain sight one moment, and the next, he was gone.
The Sachem North senior super-back was a defensive coordinator's nightmare. His ability to cut back against an aggressive defense and find the lane to the end zone was uncanny, as were his vision and patience. And Crossan's lateral movement was impossible to imitate in practice as teams tried to simulate his moves in an attempt to stop him.
Crossan found the weakness in every scheme. He exploited the over-pursuit, outran the secondary to the perimeter and made the end zone his home.
"He was unstoppable," Sachem North coach Dave Falco said. "No one figured out how to stop him."
Crossan rushed for at least 145 yards in 11 straight games and scored at least three TDs in seven games. He finished the season with 2,216 yards rushing and a school-record 38 touchdowns as the Flaming Arrows won nine games and reached the Suffolk I final for the third straight year.
For his accomplishments, he was named a co-winner of the 52nd Carl A. Hansen Award, presented to Suffolk's top player, at the Suffolk County High School Football Coaches Association banquet Monday night at the Hyatt Regency in Hauppauge. Crossan shared the award with Floyd senior halfback Stacey Bedell.
"It's an honor to be recognized for having such a great season," Crossan said. "And I want my teammates to know that this wouldn't be possible without all of their hard work. There were so many great players, it's overwhelming."
Crossan acknowledged Bedell's outstanding season. "We're all very competitive on the field," Crossan said. "And Stacey was awesome this season on both sides of the ball. He led Floyd to the Class I title and I have to tip my cap to him because they beat us. He's definitely deserving of this honor."
The two became friends through the on-field battles and the offseason showcases and recruiting trips. It was a story of two guys pushing one another to ultimately beat each other.
"The only thing that really matters is winning the championship," Crossan said. "This is a team sport and one cannot be productive without the rest of the team doing their jobs. I will always look back at the effort of all of my teammates and how hard we worked to win games."
The 5-10, 185-pound Crossan moved to quarterback when his younger brother Trent suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week IV. Undeterred, he flourished and led Sachem North into the Division I title game.
"Losing Trent was very hard for our team," Crossan said. "He was a key player. It motivated me even more to try and win the title for him."
The Crossan brothers moved into the Sachem School District two years ago and had an immediate impact in football and lacrosse.
"They were welcomed with open arms right away," Falco said. "Our guys recognized that they were hard-working individuals and that they could play."
Dalton Crossan was a class act from day one in his new school. The transition from Shoreham-Wading River to Sachem was seamless, made easier by his friendly demeanor and spectacular skill set. "It was never hard coming to Sachem," he said. "They treated us like family."
He would reward that chemistry with a two-year career in which he compiled 2,925 yards rushing and scored 56 touchdowns. His yards-per-carry average was a mind-blowing 11.7.
Said Falco, "He was simply outstanding."