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Kevin Bragaglia scores three TDs as Sachem North begins defense of title

Sachem North RB Kevin Bragaglia gets through two

Sachem North RB Kevin Bragaglia gets through two Floyd defenders for a big gain on Friday, Sept. 12, 2014. Credit: George A. Faella

The prospect might have seemed a bit ridiculous to ponder the last time Sachem North and Floyd met. A Week 1 matchup? Between two historical Suffolk powerhouses? Certainly not. Don't be silly. But there they were, Sachem North opening its Long Island Championship defense against Floyd, the team they topped to win the Suffolk I title 10 months ago.

And that title defense opened in exciting fashion, with Sachem North topping Floyd, 21-7, Friday night at Fred Fusaro Alumni Stadium at Sachem North High School, the first game for both teams. Sachem North running back Kevin Bragaglia had 124 yards on 22 carries and scored all of his team's touchdowns.

But Floyd struck first. The Colonials recovered a fumble and drove 62 yards in nine plays, ending with an 8-yard TD pass from Brandon Desmond to tight end Chance Olivas. Mike Bradley's extra point gave Floyd a 7-0 lead with 1:01 left in the first quarter.

Then Bragaglia took over. He scored his first touchdown of the season with 9:53 left in the first half, carrying 21 yards to pay dirt with a defender attached to his hip. Freshman kicker Joseph Gagliardi tied it at 7.

"I was running right," Bragaglia said. "I felt like I could put on a little more speed getting to the pylon, but I just felt like lowering my shoulder, making one cut and getting in."

Bragaglia broke two tackles while sauntering 31 yards for a second score with 2:56 left in the half, giving the Flaming Arrows their first lead of the season, 14-7, with the extra point.

Bragaglia had 100 yards on nine carries in the first half.

Sachem North's defense shined in the third quarter. With Floyd facing fourth-and-4 from Sachem North's 16-yard line, the Flaming Arrows forced an incomplete pass in the end zone. Later in the third, Flaming Arrows lineman Dylan Rodriguez intercepted a pass and rumbled 13 yards with three defenders trying to drag him down.

Although that drive ended in a Sachem North fumble, Bragaglia added his third touchdown with 8:50 left, this time on a 9-yard run. "I broke a couple tackles on that run," he said. "It felt great. But I can't do it without the guys in front of me."

"It's a good first-week win," Sachem North coach Dave Falco said. "[Floyd]'s obviously a very young team and building for the future. But we never worry about our opponent, we always worry about ourselves."A holding penalty with five minutes left in the fourth called back a Floyd touchdown that would have made it a one possession game. Two plays later, the Colonials turned the ball over on downs. Another Sachem North stop on fourth-and-goal from the 5-yard line with 20 seconds left ended any chance of a Floyd comeback.

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