Marcus Gutierrez didn't even have the ball on his most important run of the day. And Tyler Nason didn't catch a ball on the winning drive.
But both proved valuable when quarterback Ricky Hahn scored the winning touchdown on a 2-yard keeper with 5:51 left as Connetquot defeated host Floyd, 20-14, in a Suffolk I game Saturday.
Gutierrez executed a ball fake that allowed Hahn to go to the end zone.
"[Gutierrez] runs hard whether he has the ball or not," Hahn said. "[The defense] is going straight for Marcus. You can't beat a guy who runs hard."
The Thunderbirds improved to 3-1, and the two-time Long Island champs fell to 2-2.
Connetquot had taken a 14-0 first-quarter lead by taking advantage of physical errors and mental mistakes by Floyd, but the Colonials tied the score with 7:36 left in the game on a 25-yard run by Vinny Labate (11 carries, 93 yards).
On its next possession, Connetquot showed the flash of an offense that had scored more than 40 points in the first three games. After three kicking penalties started the drive at its own 45 with 7:32 left in the game, Connetquot got the ball down to the Floyd 4 in just five plays.
Hahn kept the ball for a 9-yard gain, Gutierrez (28 carries, 158 yards) had three runs for 31 yards. Fullback Jack Richardson gained 11 more to the 4 on a Wildcat run before Gutierrez added 2 more to set up Hahn's run. Connetquot coach Mike Hansen said he was able to open up the offense because receiver Nason (three catches, 71 yards) was getting double-teamed.
"He helped us win this game without touching the ball," Hansen said about Nason.
The final drive for Floyd went a lot like its first. Operating out of the Wildcat on third-and-8, the snap went over Chris Faison's head and just barely avoided going into the end zone to set up a punt at the 1. The Thunderbirds then ran out the clock.
Early on, it looked as if Floyd would get run out of the game. On its first possession, the Colonials used the Wildcat and had two bad snaps in four plays. The second one produced a fumble that Connetquot recovered on the Floyd 2, leading to Gutierrez's 1-yard TD. Nason scored on a 45-yard pass from Hahn with the extra point making it 14-0.
"We have to play consistently," Floyd coach Paul Longo said. "We have times when we play like champions, but too many times we make mistakes, turnovers and penalties."
Faison (19 carries, 39 yards) capped a 12-play drive with an 18-yard Wildcat scoring dash to put Floyd on the board with 1:27 left in the first half.
Sean Moore led the Connetquot defense with 12 tackles, three for a loss. Dashawn Morton had seven tackles for Floyd.
"We weren't worried, we knew it'd be a fight to the end," Gutierrez said. "We can't sleep on anyone."