Unlike the ominous sky that looked threatening but never struck, Floyd running back Nick Silva coupled his menacing build with forceful runs.
The sophomore bruiser ran 20 times for 137 yards and two touchdowns in Floyd’s 34-14 win in Suffolk I over visiting Ward Melville Saturday afternoon, showcasing both his vision and power in misty conditions.
“I worked hard in the offseason to build my strength,” said Silva, who stands 5-7 and weighs 185 pounds. “Last year I was lacking a little bit, but I’ve been running hard and getting yards.”
Running hard is an understatement. Silva left defenders in his wake whenever he lowered his shoulder and initiated contact.
“He goes downhill and he punishes the other team when he runs,” said Floyd coach Paul Longo.
Ward Melville (2-2) managed to contain Silva in the first quarter, holding him to 13 yards on three carries. There was little offense to spare in the early stages, as six punts and a turnover on downs exemplified the strength of each defense.
Floyd (4-0) finally broke through midway through the second after a nine-play, 69-yard drive. Quarterback Robert Taiani, who was 3-for-4 for 59 yards and two touchdowns, dropped back and found D’Andre Primus nine yards away on an out-route on the far side of the endzone.
Ryan Cruz, who made 4 of 5 extra points, converted, giving Floyd a 7-0 lead.
The Patriots were preparing to answer that score with a lengthy drive of their own, but on 1st-and-10 from Floyd’s 40, Wesley Manning threw a pass down the middle that defensive back Brandon Zack intercepted.
Zack raced down the right sideline 69 yards and was met by multiple Patriots near the endzone. He was ruled down inside the 1-yard line.
“It doesn’t matter if I scored or not,” Zack said. “I got my team the ball back at the 1-yard line and we were able to punch it in.”
Silva leapt over the offensive line on the next play, giving the Colonials a 14-0 lead from which they wouldn’t look back.
Ward Melville didn’t score until Manning found John Corpac on a slant over the middle for a 37-yard score on the first play of the fourth quarter. Mack Driver finished Floyd’s next drive with a 7-yard touchdown run, giving Floyd a 34-7 lead and sealing the win.
With much of Floyd’s offense generated from the run game, the Colonials’ offensive line of Greg Amato, Bryan Carney, Raquell Davis, Nick Golde and Nicolas Gioia was at the center of every play.
They allowed Silva to build up speed before bowling over defenders and led Floyd to its fourth win of the season, already more than last fall.
Said Silva: “We proved that we’re back in business.”