Floyd linebackers Randy Russo and Andrew Minelli simultaneously converged on Patchogue-Medford quarterback Tyree Jackson. The result was a Russo strip sack and Minelli fumble recovery, the first of two first-half touchdowns in which Floyd capitalized on turnovers.
The Minelli fumble recovery set up the first of Tyshawn Lopez’s three rushing touchdowns as Floyd rolled to a 48-6 win over Patchogue-Medford Saturday before a crowd of more than 1,300 in a Suffolk Division I semifinal playoff game in Mastic Beach.
Floyd (10-0) faces Longwood (8-2) for the Suffolk Division I championship at 7 p.m. Friday at Stony Brook’s LaValle Stadium.
The Colonials’ first score was three plays after Minelli’s recovery at the Patchogue-Medford 20. Lopez scored on a 4-yard run and Brian Lombardo added the kick to make it 7-0.
“We brought the thunder on defense and the offensive line dominated,” said Lopez, who also contributed three sacks as an outside linebacker. “We’re peaking at the right time and getting our guys healthy. We have that winning mentality and have a won’t-stop, can’t-stop attitude.”
Patchogue-Medford (7-3) responded with a 12-play, 52-yard drive to the Floyd 25 before it was turned back. Two passes fell incomplete before Jackson scrambled away from the pressure but couldn’t elude defensive end Eddie Longo at the Colonials 25.
“He’s an athlete and our guys never give up in the pursuit,” said Floyd coach Paul Longo (no relation). “Our defense, especially Minelli, have been playing at a very high level. I wasn’t surprised that we opened the game with a statement from the defense.”
On the next play, Lopez busted a run up the middle behind a big block from Longo and raced through the secondary for a 75-yard touchdown and a 13-0 lead.
“I can’t say enough about our fullbacks,” Lopez said. “Longo blocked the guy perfectly and I came off his hip and no one touched me.”
In the second quarter, Lopez broke two tackles and went on a 68-yard run to the 4 before Jezayd Hall scored on a 7-yard run. Lopez added the two-point conversion run to make it 21-0 with 3:54 left in the half.
“One thing about Tyshawn is that he doesn’t get tackled by one guy,” Longo said. “He has great vision but also tremendous balance. He somehow stays up even when guys get good hits on him. If you don’t wrap him, he keeps going.”
Floyd’s defense helped punch in one more score just before the half. Jackson had completed a 15-yard pass to Adrian Rutkowski at midfield but on the next play Nick Muelthaler stripped Jackson and Stevan Ayala recovered at the Raiders’ 40.
Two plays later, Floyd quarterback Tom Verga went on a naked bootleg around the left end for a 33-yard touchdown. He did a little tightrope action for the score and the 27-0 lead.
“I was tip-toeing the final five yards or so,” said Verga, who had an 80-yard TD run called back earlier. “I just had to beat the defensive back to the end zone.”
Longo ended the first half with another Floyd sack. Jackson completed three passes for 49 yards to the 24 with enough time to run one more play. He was flushed from the pocket, dodged two defenders, reversed his field and was taken down by Longo as time expired.
On the first play of the second half, Lopez broke four tackles on his way to a 54-yard scoring run and a 34-0 lead with 11:41 left. His day was over with 10 carries for 247 yards. Floyd totaled 463 yards on the ground.
Lopez almost upstaged a defense that totaled seven sacks and held the Raiders scoreless until late in the fourth quarter when the starters were on the bench and the win was in hand.
Floyd senior Chris Coonan rushed for 102 yards, including a 70-yard touchdown run, in the second half.
“We have a lot of guys out with injuries but it’s always next man up,” Minelli said. “We just bring crazy energy and play hard for each other.”