Aaje Grayson entered the Long Island Class I football championship with six carries on the season.
He got six more in Freeport’s 28-14 win over Floyd at Hofstra’s Shuart Stadium Friday afternoon, and he made them count.
Playing in place of injured running back Elyjah Campbell, who scored 16 total touchdowns this season but hurt his left hip last weekend against Farmingdale, Grayson scampered for 33 yards, a touchdown and a two-point conversion. He also had a reception for 10 yards.
Said Grayson: “I was just glad that I was able to step up enough for us to get a ‘W.’ ”
Catch of the game
Friday’s best catch in the Class I championship? It wasn’t made on the field.
Freeport cheerleader base Shanae Fosterbey made a clutch grab of her own when her flyer fell awkwardly during a routine.
“That’s called a switch-up, in cheer language,” she said. “It’s when she switches legs; she’s supposed to lock [her leg], but that didn’t happen.”
Cheerleading coach Laurre Kolodny said falls happen from time to time, but the athletes are taught how to catch safely.
Wantagh’s Joyce not deterred by bum ankle
Wantagh had to stop practice Wednesday after safety Jimmy Joyce fell hard, resulting in a high ankle sprain. The senior said that his status for the game was “100 percent” in doubt but decided to play through the injury.
He played a factor in the team’s 21-14 win over East Islip in the Long Island Class III championship, making a miraculous one-handed interception in the beginning of the second quarter with his right arm fully extended, resulting in a Tommy Rohan rushing touchdown and a 14-7 Wantagh lead.
“I didn’t think I was going to play until game time,” Joyce said. “I can’t even feel my ankle right now. It’s not really hurting, but I have to say thank you to my trainer, because I have a brace and tape all over it.”
Tucker doesn’t forget mom
So, what was the first thing Rashad Tucker did after Freeport beat Floyd for the Long Island Class I championship?
The Red Devils senior quarterback ran to the bleachers of Hofstra’s Shuart Stadium, jumped up and hugged his mom.
“The moment hit me. I love my mom,” Tucker said. “I don’t have a father figure. She’s my mom and dad.”
The display caught Tucker’s mom off guard.
“I feel honored. I’m speechless,” said Sabrina Grant. “All our hard work paid off.”
Moments later, mother and son were all smiles as they posed with the championship plaque.
By the numbers
Floyd (18) had more first downs than Freeport (14) . . . Freeport’s Jaelin Hood caught four passes for 114 yards and two touchdowns and was second on the team with 6.5 tackles and a sack . . . Wantagh and East Islip combined to attempt just 18 passes.