Billy Daal turned to the crowd and gave a bow. The final act of his touchdown-scoring show was complete.
All three in total.
Daal was an unstoppable force on Saturday afternoon, setting the tone both in the running game and on special teams for Friends Academy in its 33-15 home victory over Malverne in Nassau Conference IV.
Daal, who recorded two rushing touchdowns and returned a punt for a score, made his most profound impact on the ground throughout the day.
"The run was really working," the senior said after racking up 180 yards on 18 carries. "Our guys up front were battling and the rest of the backfield was getting on their blocks. So we were just hitting holes."
After Friends’ defense surrendered a 76-yard rushing touchdown to Deandre Blagrove on the Mules’ opening play from scrimmage, the Quakers regained the early momentum when a botched snap on a Malverne (0-3) punt attempt rolled into the end zone and resulted in a safety.
From that point forward, Daal took over.
"You’ve always got to expect that from Billy," said quarterback Zach Shallat, who had 12 carries for 80 yards and two touchdowns. "If we can block for him he’s going to get it done every game."
After capping off the ensuing drive with a cutback run that resulted in a 1-yard score with 3:51 left in the half and the first lead of the day for Friends (1-1), Daal had something even better in store two minutes later.
Upon fielding a bouncing punt, Daal jetted down the left sideline, leveled a would-be tackler and outran the rest of the coverage team 70 yards for his second score, extending the Quakers’ lead to 15-7.
"He is incredible," Friends coach Patrick Maguire said. "He does it all. He made some big plays on a few punts and as far as running the ball, he’s just a beast."
Following a fumble recovery by the defense, Daal proceeded to open the second half by breaking free for a 21-yard rushing touchdown that widened the Friends advantage to 21-7.
Friends continuously made its mark on the defensive side of the ball as well. Shallat, who also had two sacks, gave the Quakers a three-score lead after picking up his team’s second of three interceptions and returning it 25 yards for a touchdown with 9:44 left in the third.
But at the end of the day, it was Daal who stole the show.
"I think it first starts with his leadership," Maguire said. "He’s a terrific leader and someone that guys have looked to over the last four years.
"He’s been a dominant player. His effort, day in and day out, is unmatched by anyone on the team and anyone that I’ve been around as a coach. He’s a special player."