Late in the fourth quarter of last night's Long Island Class I championship game, a 38-14 victory for Freeport over Floyd at Stony Brook's LaValle Stadium, several Floyd players sat slumped on the sideline.
Senior running back Nick Astore would have none of it. He made his teammates stand up.
The Colonials would end the season with their heads held high. After all, few teams could match the season they'd just completed.
By the standards of any other school, Floyd's 2009 was a huge success. The Colonials (10-2) won 10 straight games before the Long Island Championships and captured the Suffolk title for the fourth time in five years. In the previous 11 games, Floyd opponents managed a total of 14 touchdowns.
"The problem with our team, and I try telling them this, is that if they don't win the LIC, they think we've had a bad season," Floyd coach Paul Longo said. "Winning the county in our league is tough. I'm proud of them."
Astore did his best in the final game of his career. He scored on a 7-yard run in the second quarter to tie the score at 6. Said Longo: "He's a great player and a great leader."
Astore's classmates gave it their all on defense against Freeport's Kevin Allen, who completed one of the best seasons in Long Island history. Kevin Lacey had 81/2 tackles, Kevin Hauter eight tackles, Ivy France six tackles and Andrew Incantalupo four tackles, two for a loss. Afterward, they all complimented Allen.
Quarterback Darryl Moore and wide receiver Ricky Stoner tried to get Floyd back in it, connecting on a 35-yard pass play in the fourth quarter. But Freeport recovered a fumble a few plays later. "We did some things we hadn't been doing all year today," Longo said. "We lost to a great team."
With a solid class of returnees, Floyd should be back. Junior Stacey Bedell carried 11 times for 58 yards and junior running back Luke Miller, who bulldozed his way to a 3-yard TD in the third quarter, are two of them. Miller looked as if he were going down behind the line of scrimmage but fought forward into the end zone, and the two-point conversion pass moved Floyd within 19-14.
"He's a tough kid," Longo said. "We have some good young players; we expect to compete again. Bedell is a great player. We'll look to him a lot."