Will Floyd get in Sachem North's way again?
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For the past three years the Floyd football team has ended Sachem North's season. And all three of those losses have come in the Suffolk Division I championship game.
Falling short in the title game has become an albatross for Sachem North coach Dave Falco and his program. Floyd always gets in the way of Sachem North's bid for a Long Island title.
The only time the Flaming Arrows earned a place in the Long Island Class I championship game was in 1995.
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Floyd will be the hurdle for Sachem North again this year. Only this time, the round and the venue changes. The Colonials will travel to play at Sachem North in Friday night's Division I semifinal game in Lake Ronkonkoma at 7 p.m.
"It's an exciting matchup with two teams that are playing very well," Floyd coach Paul Longo said. "We have an incredible history against one another."
Longo has guided the Colonials to eight Division I titles and four Long Island Class I crowns in the past 11 years. Colonials quarterback A.J. Otranto will stretch the defense with his strong arm and a quartet of receivers, including All-Long Island receiver Vantrell Nash. He will balance the passing game with a dynamic running attack led by Chris Faison and Diamonte Corley.
Falco has led the Flaming Arrows to a fabulous 35-6 record the last four years, the best record in Class I during that span. Sachem North also ended Floyd's 40-game regular-season record winning streak in the 2009 opener.
He will rely on a superior offensive line with Steven Mills, Nick Dirosse and Bryan Gresalfi to give star halfbacks Malik Pierre and Kevin Bragaglia running room. The Flaming Arrows defense could get a tremendous boost by the return of top linebacker Tyler Andreassi, who has missed two games after having thumb surgery.
"It promises to be a great game," Falco said.
Massapequa at Farmingdale, Thursday, at Hofstra, 7:30 p.m.: Halfback Curtis Jenkins rumbled for 74 yards to break a tie at 14 and send the Dalers past Massapequa, 21-14, in the regular-season finale. Expect another rugged, smashmouth battle between neighboring communities in a long-standing rivalry.
Plainedge vs. Glen Cove, at Hofstra, Friday, 7:30 p.m.: The return of Plainedge quarterback Nick Frenger after three weeks sparked the Red Devils offense. He threw for three touchdowns in a 54-41 win over Lynbrook last week. Glen Cove continues to march through the Nassau III competition and is looking to make its first trip to the final since 2000.
Sachem East at Connetquot, Saturday, 1 p.m.: Superback Steve Casali was knocked out of the Connetquot game with a concussion earlier this season and the T-birds went on to a 47-6 win. The Flaming Arrows feel he can run all over the top-ranked T-birds. Quarterback Brian McKean has a lethal receiving corps with James Higgins and Tyler Nason and an equally strong running game with halfback Ryan Harvey. The T-birds' defense has much to prove in this one. Can they stop a potent running game?
West Hempstead vs. Roosevelt, at Hofstra, Saturday, 8:30 p.m.: A showdown of outstanding halfbacks as West Hempstead's Tayvon Hall and the Rough Riders' Johnnie Akins look to help their respective teams move into the Nassau IV final.