It was a stark contrast to the scene at midfield just 90 minutes earlier: Sharayad Letellier beaming, short of breath, laughing with fellow Glen Cove running back Tim Hogan.
"I feel like . . . I don't even know," Letellier said after Glen Cove's 39-17 win over Roosevelt in Nassau III on Saturday. "I feel like I have the world in my hands right now."
After a long run in the second quarter, Letellier had trouble getting to his feet because he aggravated a groin injury. It still didn't slow down Letellier, who finished with eight carries for 125 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
Letellier also was on the field for Glen Cove's final drive, when the game was beyond doubt. He nearly ran in a third touchdown, but was stopped at the one-yard line after a 14-yard gain.
It's at that point that a fan stood up, turned to Glen Cove's marching band and shouted, "Can you guys play 'Rocky' already?"
After the game, Letellier could only smile about it.
"My groin [hurt] the whole game. I'm yelling, screaming, telling myself I got to fight it," Letellier said. "I dug down deep. Really deep."
The players from Glen Cove knew it would take that type of effort against Roosevelt (2-1), which entered averaging 43 points per game and already had shocked Nassau III powerhouse Lawrence in Week 1. The Rough Riders are in their first season in the conference after moving up from Nassau IV.
From the get-go, it was all Glen Cove (2-1). With its defense holding strong, the Big Red executed three pristine drives in its first three possessions to build a 20-0 lead with 5:08 left in the second quarter. David Bull capped the first drive with a 20-yard touchdown run, and Letellier added scoring runs of 15- and 18 yards, respectively.
Glen Cove's defense came up huge at the end of the half, smothering Roosevelt's comeback attempt with two goal line stands. Keeping running back Jude Innocent in check was crucial.
"He's electric," Glen Cove coach Pete Kopecky said. "Limiting him was the game plan. It wasn't easy."
Innocent had a 9-yard TD run on Roosevelt's first possession of the third quarter, but Glen Cove answered right back. Quarterback Mike Payton connected with Letellier on a 34-yard pass to help set up a touchdown.
"That catch silenced them," Hogan said. "And we were like, 'OK. Now we got them. Now we just have to put the exclamation point on top.' "
Hogan had two rushing TDs in the second half. He had eight carries for 71 yards. "Everybody was doubting us," Letellier said, "But this team just proved everybody wrong in Nassau County. Welcome to Conference III, Roosevelt."