William Floyd RB Stacey Bedell #21, looks for some running...

William Floyd RB Stacey Bedell #21, looks for some running room against Sachem North. (Oct. 15, 2011) Credit: George A. Faella

At least when Stacey Bedell takes a handoff or a pitchout, the electrifying Floyd running back expects to get a chance to run to daylight. But on kickoffs, he expects football's equivalent of an intentional walk. Teams rarely kick to No. 21.

On the first play of the second half Saturday, it was evident why. Bedell grabbed a windblown kickoff that was intended to go in a different direction, received a key block as he cut to the outside, and sprinted down the sidelines for an 80-yard touchdown.

That's Bedell's game -- sharp cuts, blazing speed, instant offense. The senior accumulated 331 yards of total offense and scored four touchdowns to lead the Colonials to a 37-22 victory over Sachem North in a pivotal Suffolk I game before an overflow crowd at Mastic Beach that left both teams with 5-1 records.

"Most teams don't kick to me, so I was surprised I got the chance," said Bedell, who rushed for 201 yards on 18 carries and now has 22 touchdowns. "I got good blocking and once I saw the open field, I was gone."

That's Bedell's game, too -- open field, case closed. One step and he's gone. "It's amazing how he comes to play in the biggest games," Floyd coach Paul Longo said. "He's had an incredible year. He's like a Division I [college] player playing against high school kids in his senior year. He can break any play at any time. When he gets past the line of scrimmage, it's 50-50 that he's going all the way."

Bedell scored on a 14-yard draw play for the game's first touchdown late in the second quarter, but Bedell and his counterpart on Sachem North, senior Dalton Crossan, were just getting started.

Crossan, held without a touchdown for the first time this season -- he has 18 -- broke away for a 40-yard run that set up a Flaming Arrows touchdown that helped put the visitors ahead, 7-6. Chris Hurtado's 32-yard field goal that hit the crossbar and bounced over on the final play of the first half put Floyd ahead, 9-7.

After Bedell's bolt on the kickoff to start the second half, Anthony Ross scored on a 20-yard touchdown run to bring Sachem North to within 16-14. A minute and a half later, Bedell took a handoff and started up the middle, absorbed a couple of hits but bounced to the outside. No one could catch him. His 54-yard touchdown run made it 30-14.

Late in the fourth quarter Crossan, who carried 32 times for 207 yards and took numerous snaps at quarterback because of the knee injury that sidelined his brother Trent for the season, had several key runs on a drive that resulted in a Sachem touchdown. Crossan's two-point conversion run made it 30-22 with 1:20 left.

Needing just one first down to ensure the clock would run out, Floyd faced a third-and-8 from its own 37. Bedell exploded to the outside for a 63-yard exclamation-point touchdown. "First time we ran that sweep the whole game," Bedell said with a smile.

"We respect each other. He's a great player and a great friend," said Crossan, who has traveled around the country with Bedell to football camps and on recruiting visits. "I'm happy for him that he had a big day, but I'm disappointed that we lost. The kickoff return and the pick six killed us. But I'm confident we'll see them again."

In a playoff rematch, don't expect any kickoffs to come anywhere near No. 21.


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