It wasn’t fantasy football, but it sure felt like it for Port Jefferson’s Sam Florio. The junior quarterback rushed for 417 yards and scored six touchdowns on 33 carries in a 52-42 victory over Greenport/Southold in Suffolk IV Friday night.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Florio said. “I just thought it was a fantasy. Getting that many yards is insane. It’s crazy . . . There’s always room for improvement, but it was definitely my best game ever on the ground.”
It marked only the eighth time a Long Island player has rushed for over 400 yards and was the sixth-highest rushing performance in L.I. history. Plainedge’s Davien Kuinlan, who rushed for 484 yards in the Nassau III final in 2015, holds the top spot, according to Newsday records.
“It’s an incredible feeling,” Florio said. “I’m in a group with a bunch of elite guys . . . It’s an amazing accomplishment.”
Florio woke up Friday morning unsure of how he would even feel. After leaving in the third quarter of Port Jefferson’s Week 7 loss to Shoreham–Wading River with bruised ribs and a bruised tailbone, the quarterback was limited all week in practice.
“I just studied the film hard and knew what we had to do,” Florio said. “I woke up [Friday] really sore and I just said ‘listen, whatever happens tonight is going to happen. I’m going to give it my all at the start and see where it goes from there.’ During the game, I was feeling good and had a roll going.”
They needed every last yard, too. After a back-and-forth game that also saw Florio toss a 17-yard touchdown pass, his 1-yard fourth quarter touchdown run gave Port Jefferson a 51-42 lead, icing the victory.
“It was really exciting watching both teams go at it,” Florio said. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Thanks to added padding — and, of course, a stout offensive line — Florio turned morning uncertainty into a historic night.
Florio and the Royals (4-4) will take his success and try to turn it into a playoff win. With the postseason set to kick off next weekend, they couldn’t be feeling any better.
“We just have to make sure we watch film, study up, make sure we know our assignments, and are better on the field in all aspects,” Florio said. “I believe in our coaching staff and my teammates.” — JORDAN LAUTERBACH