If this was an audition, Stacey Bedell passed the screen test. The leading man part is his.
The speedy, elusive, junior running back for Floyd turned what appeared to be a harmless third-and-long screen pass into an 83-yard touchdown in the first quarter. That was Act I. On a simple draw play that was initially diagnosed, Bedell escaped with another breathtaking move for a 66-yard touchdown in the third quarter. That was Act II, and this drama was essentially over.
Bedell's big plays launched No. 2 seed Floyd to a 33-16 home victory Saturday over No. 7 Bay Shore in a Suffolk Division I playoff game. The Colonials will host Longwood in a Div. I semifinal on Friday at a time to be determined.
It was show time for Bedell Saturday. "He makes some moves that make your jaw drop," Floyd coach Paul Longo said.
With amazingly quick feet and 4.4 speed for the 40, Bedell also makes tackler miss. That was the case on his two big scoring plays. On the screen pass, Bedell got out of the grasp of Bay Shore linebacker Josh Valentin, an impressive 6-4, 240-pound sophomore who played a fine game. He cut inside and easily left the rest of the field behind.
"As soon as I got open, I saw a guy coming at me on an angle," said Bedell, who wound up with 144 yards rushing on 17 carries. I knew if I broke the tackle, I was gone."
That gave Floyd an early 6-3 lead. The Colonials, who accumulated more than 400 yards of total offense, took a 20-3 lead on Bedell's other huge play. "When I got the ball in the backfield, there was someone waiting for me," Bedell said. "So I juked him."
Bedell had the starring role in this one, but his supporting cast was outstanding. Luke Miller pounded out 92 yards on the ground and scored a touchdown. Quarterback A.J. Otranto was 6-for-8 passing for 142 yards, including a nifty 46-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Grimm that made it 27-10 late in the third quarter. Otranto also scored on a 1-yard sneak on the first play of the fourth quarter to make it 33-10 and end the suspense.
Bay Shore's Karl Allison scored on a 23-yard run in the final seconds and finished with 143 yards rushing and 54 yards receiving.
There was one more Colonial who deserved a star on his dressing room door. Jamaican-born linebacker Rajiv Heron, who has only played football for three years, pressured Bay Shore's Kevin Cox (12-for-20, 173 yards) repeatedly. He registered three of Floyd's seven sacks and hurried the Marauders' quarterback numerous times.
"My coaches mostly want me to use my speed and blitz," Heron said. "We're a coverage defense with a lot of fast players. I like the keep the quarterback on his toes." Or, better yet, off his feet. "A sack? It's an amazing feeling," he said.
Said Longo of his junior linebacker, "He's lightning fast, hits hard and forces defenses to change their schemes He's a playmaker on defense."
Just another star fighting for top billing on the Floyd marquee.