Nick Silva, Floyd’s sophomore middle linebacker, watched the video all week. He saw how fleet Freeport’s offensive players were. He thought he was ready. Then he stepped on the field.
“I knew they’d be fast, shifty and elusive,” Silva said. “But I was a little surprised at their moves. We didn’t see anything like that all year.”
What the Colonials saw in the first half Friday was a blur: By the time the second quarter was three minutes old, the Red Devils had scored four touchdowns. Floyd’s methodical, hard-running offense behind a powerful offensive line couldn’t keep up.
“I wish we could’ve played the first half close and maybe we could’ve worn them down in the second half,” Floyd coach Paul Longo said.
Even with the defensive adjustments Longo made, Floyd’s offense was unable to make up a 21-point deficit in its 28-14 loss in the Long Island Class I championship game at Hofstra.
“We did our thing in the second half,” Silva said of shutting out Freeport after the break. “This game will motivate us in a good way.”
Longo said he won’t be surprised if the Colonials are back in the Class I title game next year. His optimism is based on the number of returning players who had key roles Friday.
Silva (99 yards on 15 carries), running back/defensive back Matt Driver (33 yards, three carries) and defensive lineman/tight end Keith Winfrey (four solo tackles, three assists) are sophomore two-way starters.
Quarterback Robert Taiani (12-for-20, 126 yards and a touchdown) and running back James Tait (77 yards, 14 carries) are juniors.
“We have a good mix. We can build on it,” said Longo, whose Floyd teams are 0-4 against Freeport in the LIC. “My jinx against Freeport continues.”
But so does Floyd’s tradition of excellence. The Colonials have split 10 appearances in the LIC and Longo is hoping this one provides foreshadowing similar to his last loss — to Freeport in the 2010 game. “After we lost the last time,’’ he said, “we went on to win two straight LICs.”
One of the players from the 2010 game was running back Stacey Bedell, who was on the sideline Friday. “This is how it was when I played. I lost to Freeport twice in a row. I remember thinking, ‘We’ll be back,’ ” said Bedell, who has another season left as a game-breaking running back at Stony Brook University. “Then we won it the next year against East Meadow.”
That’s the Silva lining. “I don’t automatically expect us to be back,” Silva said, “but if we work hard, we can get here again.”