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Long Island Championships Class I: Freeport’s speed vs. Floyd’s physicality

Newsday's Gregg Sarra breaks down the Long Island Championship game in Class I between Freeport and William Floyd at noon Friday, Nov. 25, 2016 at Hofstra. (Credit: Newsday)

Floyd’s Michael Bradley came up with a motto this week for the Colonials, who will meet Freeport in the Long Island Class I championship game at noon Friday at Hofstra’s Shuart Stadium.

Said the senior middle linebacker, “Speed can’t match physicality.”

Speed would be Freeport (10-1), led by talented senior quarterback Rashad Tucker, who can beat an opponent with his arm, his feet and his foot (he’s also the punter). Tucker is the headliner of the Red Devils’ spread offense.

Physicality would be Floyd (10-1), led by a trio of three-year starting linemen in seniors Greg Amato (6-2, 300), Bryan Carney (6-3, 260) and Raquell Davis (6-1, 240). They are “the strength of the team,” according to Floyd coach Paul Longo, whose Colonials utilize a mix of I-formation and wing-T offenses.

Whichever team wins the battle between speed and physicality will be crowned the 2016 Class I champion.

“After watching film, and knowing how big and strong we are,” Bradley said, “I think we can overpower Freeport.”

The beneficiary of the Colonials’ impressive offensive line is sophomore running back Nick Silva, who has rushed for 1,298 yards and scored 20 touchdowns.

“They have plenty of talent,” Freeport coach Russ Cellan said of Floyd. “You have to buckle it up against them. It’s not fancy what they do, but you have to stop them.”

That’s probably easier said than done.

“Our offensive line is probably the best we’ve ever had,” said Longo, in his 21st season with the Colonials. “We’re able to utilize ball control and keep our opponents’ offenses off the field, which helps our defense.”

Floyd’s defense, which has surrendered an average of 14.1 points per game and starts three sophomores, is a solid unit led by Bradley, who Longo calls “the best linebacker in Suffolk.”

Don’t be surprised to see Bradley also play tight end, as he has the past few weeks. But no matter where he lines up, he knows whom the Colonials have to focus on Friday: Tucker, who has passed for 1,280 yards and 15 touchdowns and run for 985 yards and 12 touchdowns.

“I don’t believe we’ve seen anyone like [Tucker] in Suffolk,” Bradley said. “He’s electric. He makes one move and he’s gone.”

Three other seniors are formidable parts of Freeport’s spread offense, including Elyjah Campbell (team-best 19 touchdowns), Jaelin Hood (16 total TDs) and Jahred Wray (nine TDs). Still, it all starts with Tucker.

“He’s one of, if not the most, electric players on Long Island,” said Cellan, in his 31st season at Freeport. “He’s the most outstanding open-field runner I’ve ever coached. He’s done things we’ve never seen anyone do, and things I’ll probably never see done again.”

The two storied programs have met three times in Class I title games and Freeport — looking for its first crown since 2010 — has won all three meetings.

Floyd, which last won a title in 2012, is 5-4 in the Long Island Championships. Freeport (4-2 in the L.I. title game) enters Friday on a seven-game winning streak.

“We’re on a roll, we’re hot, and we’re ready to go,” Tucker said. “Hopefully, we get one more.”

FLOYD Roster

No.PlayerGradePos.HeightWeight

1Mack Driver10QB/DB6’2”225

2David DiSanto11RB5’10”135

3Tyreik Corbin12RB5’11”180

4Dimetri Guillaumette11RB/DB5’10”165

5Mike Parris11RB/LB5’11”180

6Jordan Clinton10RB/DB5’10”175

8Keith Winfrey10TE/DL6’2”245

9John Berry12RB/LB5’10”175

10Scha-mel Sydnor12DL5’10”200

11D’Andre Primus12WR/DB5’10”155

12Alex DeLuca11WR/DB5’11”160

13AJ Ray12WR/DB6’1”175

14Joe DaMato12WR5’8”125

15Jason Alexander11WR5’8”150

16Anthony Pizzuti11WR/DB5’8”150

17Michael Battelli11WR/DB5’9”150

20Robert Taiani11QB6’2”170

21Quatrill Booker11WR/DB5’10”155

23Nick Silva10RB/LB5’7”185

24Nikko Rodriguez12WR5’10”165

25James Taitt11RB/DB5’7”155

26Brandon Zack11WR/DB6’0”185

29Jermil Banks12RB5’10”185

30Tim Clougher11RB/DL5’7”215

34Danny Torres11RB/LB5’10”185

35Teddy Galasso12FB5’8”215

37Brandon Coonan11RB/LB5’6”150

40Stephen Nagle11RB/LB5’8”175

42Stephen Nielsen11TE/DE6’2”200

43Ty Williams11LB5’11”190

44Michael Bradley12RB/LB5’11”240

46Steven Brown12LB5’9”175

51Dominick Latkowski12OL/DL5’6”240

52Ben Hart12OL/DL6’2”225

54Ezekiel Torres12LB6’0”175

55Bryan Carney12OL/DL6’3”260

57Keith Berberich11OL/DL5’10”225

60Jordan Vasquez11OL/DL6’0”225

61James Bush11OL/DL6’0”270

62Nick Delledone12OL/DL5’11”250

63Raquell Davis12OL/DL6’1”240

64Greg Amato12OL/DL6’2”300

65Jaycen Gonzalez12OL/DL6’5”255

68Evan Catania11OL/DL5’7”270

69Ed Thoomey12OL/DL6’2”275

72Nick Golde11OL/DL6’2”270

74Christian Osorio12OL/DL5’9”250

78Jaizon Soehl-Zelaya11OL/DL6’1”265

80Ryan Cruz11WR/DB/K5’11”170

81Sebastian Paniccia10K5’11”140

84Dante Thorne11DB5’8”150

88Nicolas Gioia12TE/LB5’10”190

Coach Paul Longo

FREEPORT roster

No.PlayerGradePos.

2Aaje Grayson11WR/DB

3Jaelin Hood12WR/DB

4Nicolas Olivier12WR/DB

5Rashad Tucker*12QB/DB

6Elyjah Campbell12WR/DB

11Justin Lescoflair10WR/DB

12John Stecker11WR/DB

14Terrance Edmond9WR/DB

20Frankie Paulino11WR/DB

21Aaron Spence11WR/DB

22Jahred Wray*12RB/DB

23Sam Weatherspoon12WR/DB

25Willie Pelzer12WR/DL

27Marcus Mendez12RB/LB

28Chris Alexandre12RB/LB

31Will Presbrey12K

35Chrystian McCain11RB/DB

37Ja’Juan Warren10RB/LB

50Rony Lopez11OL/DL

51Tory Crandall12OL/LB

53Dan Lyons11OL/DL

54Gerard Smikle10OL/LB

55Icke Quiles11OL/DL

56Robert Fitzsimmons*11OL/LB

58Savion Dewar12OL/DL

59Dashaun Thomas12OL/LB

60Enrique Guzman11OL/DL

62Donovan Watson11OL/DL

63Erik Sanchez12OL/DL

64Jonhanson Morales11OL/DL

65Isaiah Louder12OL/DL

66Julio Batista12OL/DL

67Jaden Richardson10OL/DL

68Joel Cruz*12OL/DL

70Abraham Rodriguez10OL/DL

74Franlis Pimentel11OL/DL

75Jordy Dejesus11OL/DL

76Kadeem Adams11OL/DL

77John Meyvecci11OL/DL

78Ivan Payamps12OL/DL

85Nana Appiah12WR/DB

Coach Russ Cellan

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