William Floyd running back Nick Silva (23) runs up the...

William Floyd running back Nick Silva (23) runs up the left sideline on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016. Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

Floyd football is back in a position of power.

Coming off their 10-2 county championship season, the Colonials opened the season as the No. 1 seed in Suffolk I.

“I feel like we have to retain the No. 1 spot,” wide receiver David DiSanto said. “It’s pretty important to us this year.”

The Colonials took a step toward achieving that goal with a hard-fought 23-18 victory over No. 3 Longwood in Saturday’s opener.

The Colonials return their leading rusher in Nick Silva (1,600 yards, 20 touchdowns), who scored the team’s first touchdown of 2017, and quarterback Rob Taiani. But the team lost the majority of the offensive line from a team that fell to Freeport, 28-14, in the Long Island championship game.

“Last year we just wanted to come in and prove everyone wrong,” Taiani said of last year’s No. 5 preseason seed. “Obviously we came up short and it’s not how we wanted it to end but I think we did a good job. Going to the LIC, no one thought we were going to do that.”

Floyd coach Paul Longo hopes to see the same drive from his team last season as underdogs to this year as the favorites. “The bottom line is you have to stay hungry,” Longo said. “It’s a tough league. There’s a lot of good teams and now they seeded us first so it’s a different story.”

Floyd will have to go through some of the best athletes on Long Island to win back-to-back titles, none better than Lindenhurst tight end Jeremy Ruckert, who has committed to Ohio State. Ruckert leads a Bulldogs team that finished the regular season undefeated the previous two seasons.

Longwood returns tailback Jake Murphy and quarterback Jordan Harris, both of whom played well against Floyd. Connetquot has a strong mix of skill-position players in George Wichelns, GQ Grippo, Taylor Stepanek and quarterback Dylan McDermott. Ward Melville, after losing in last season’s Suffolk I title game, graduated many of its playmakers but returns starting running back Nick Messina. Northport, returning quarterback Ryan Walsh, is also a legitimate playoff contender.

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