The raucous celebration started on the field with the victorious Longwood players jumping up, down and all over each other in the euphoria of a 22-13 triumph over rival Floyd Saturday.
The good times continued in the stands where an estimated 3,000 fans stood and shouted, high-fiving each other and advancing toward the bleacher railing to deliver a collective shout-out to their team.
"This was one huge,'' Longwood quarterback Danny Farrell said. "This one meant so much to our fans, our players.''
Floyd had won 12 of the last 13 meetings with Longwood, but this time, with potentially big implications in Division I, Longwood prevailed.
Floyd (4-1) next has a televised MSG Varsity showdown with division-leading Sachem North (5-0) Friday night, while Longwood (4-1) will have its own meeting with Sachem North in Week 7.
Longwood has served notice. "We're here,'' Farrell said. "Longwood's here.''
The victory was not sealed until Davonte Booker's 16-yard touchdown run with 4 minutes, 9 seconds left. It came with Longwood holding a 14-13 advantage and right after Anthony Marone's dash into the end zone for Longwood was negated by a holding call.
"It was an exciting moment," Booker said. "Coach [Chris Meyer] said 'Run hard, drop your head in the end zone.' I had to stick it in.''
Taking care of the ball had been a problem all game for Longwood, which advanced to Floyd's 2-yard line on its first possession before fumbling for the first of three times. Floyd speedster Stacey Bedell converted that first miscue into a 98-yard touchdown run.
"A little miscommunication,'' Farrell said. "I fumbled the ball and they made a good play out of it.''
Farrell made up for that later in the first quarter when he raced 30 yards on a naked bootleg to tie the score at 7 with the extra point. "It was the same boot,'' Farrell said, referring to the play call that proceeded the earlier fumble.
Longwood took a 14-7 edge just before halftime when Farrell connected with Jon Morgan on a 9-yard scoring pass. That was preceded by Victor Hickson's 70-yard interception return to Floyd's 11. "I did what I do all day in practice,'' Hickson said. "We have a lot of skill in a lot of positions. I thought we could do what we did today and we did.''
Floyd closed to 14-13 in the third quarter on a 58-yard TD run by Bedell. In the fourth, Floyd advanced to the Longwood 35, but was stopped on fourth-and-inches. Longwood extended its lead on the next drive.
Longwood's defense was led by Darius Greene (10 tackles) and Cory Wallace (71/2). Booker led the team in rushing with 90 yards on 13 carries. Kavaughn Wiggins ran for 68 yards in three quarters before sitting out the fourth with leg cramps. It was only his second game back since missing the first three to work on his grades. He rushed for 170 yards last week.
"He's a game breaker,'' Meyer said. "He's like our Bedell. He can touch it and be gone.''