Despite single-digit wind-chill numbers late Sunday afternoon at Stony Brook's LaValle Stadium, Sachem North players doused coach Dave Falco with ice water. Such was the magnitude of the Flaming Arrows' 28-7 victory over Floyd in the Suffolk I championship football game.
Sachem had not been to the Long Island Championships since 1995, had never been there since the district split into North and East in 2004, and had never won a county crown under Falco.
The Arrows finally hit their target, where they will face an opponent with a different sort of futility. Farmingdale (11-0) is making its eighth appearance in the LIC but has won only once, in 2001. The Dalers lost to Floyd in last year's game.
Farmingdale needed a last-second field goal by Zach Kolodny to eliminate Massapequa last Saturday. This Saturday's game -- 4:30 p.m. at LaValle Stadium -- features two of the Island's top placekickers in Kolodny and Bryan Morris.
It also is a showcase for two of the Island's best running backs, Curtis Jenkins of Farmingdale and Malik Pierre of Sachem North (9-2). Jenkins has been sizzling in the playoffs, with 232 rushing yards and three touchdowns against Massapequa and another 187 yards in the semifinals against Syosset. He has scored 24 touchdowns this season.
Pierre put on a show against Floyd, rushing for 86 yards, turning a screen pass into a 45-yard touchdown reception and tossing a halfback option pass for a 26-yard touchdown to quarterback Mike Licata. He also made two interceptions.
For the season, Pierre has 1,392 yards rushing and 21 total touchdowns -- 16 rushing, two receiving, two on kickoff returns and one on an interception. He is expected to be joined in the backfield by quarterback Trent Crossan, who was cleared to play Monday after suffering a jarring hit that sent him to the sideline in the second half Sunday.
Farmingdale may have a slight edge defensively, as lineman Kevin Vandermark and linebacker Joe Lee are outstanding. Sachem North's linebackers, led by Chris Biryla and George Carrion, played well against Floyd and Pierre leads a ball-hawking secondary with six interceptions.
One team's LIC futility will end with an ice-water soaking on Saturday night.