Ward Melville RB Nick Gaffney dives over the goal line...

Ward Melville RB Nick Gaffney dives over the goal line for the game-winning touchdown late in the fourth quarter against Floyd in the Suffolk Division I semifinals on Saturday at Floyd. Credit: George A Faella

From afar it looked like one of the many other fall Saturday afternoons in the recent past at the Lincoln Avenue Sports Complex in Mastic Beach.

A football team clad in white and green took the field and used a punishing rushing attack to secure a playoff victory.

Only this time when the scoreboard read :00 it was the visiting team celebrating on the field.

Nick Gaffney ran for 160 yards and a touchdown on 33 carries and Andrew Belli carried it 20 times for 113 yards and a touchdown as No. 4 Ward Melville pulled the shocking upset over top-seeded Floyd, 14-7.

Michael Ricciardi sealed the win with an interception with about 3:30 left in the game.

The two teams met a month ago in the regular season with Floyd winning 38-0.

The last time Floyd didn’t make the Suffolk final was 2015.

“Our entire motto was ‘assert dominance,” senior linebacker and offensive tackle Joshua Rettig said. “We knew it was going to be a fist fight the entire game and we were ready for it.”

“After that game they were laughing at us on the sidelines and we took that personally,” Rettig said. “We went out there and played every play 100% and that’s why we took home the victory.”

It wasn’t only an increased desire but also a new game plan that helped flip the script.

Floyd, with its tradition of using a run-heavy offense to grind down opponents, found itself unable to sustain drives to keep the Ward Melville offense off the field.

“We are a fast, finesse team and a lot of times we get really comfortable playing like that so the motto this week was that we were going to run and play old-school football like we can,” Ward Melville coach Chris Boltrek said. “Usually when we play these guys we try to throw the ball around but today we wanted to control the game and try to keep them off the field and make them uncomfortable.”

Floyd (9-1) took a 7-0 lead into halftime thanks to a 54-yard touchdown strike down the right side line by sophomore Jack Molini to Levar Rollerson midway through the second quarter.

The play capped a seven-play, 90-yard drive but the Colonials only had two first downs in the game outside that drive.

Belli tied it with a 14-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-1 on the first drive of the second half for Ward Melville (7-3).

And it was Gaffney’s 13-yard scoring run that capped a 13 play, 69-yard drive that lasted nearly eight minutes in the fourth quarter that put Ward Melville ahead for good with 3:54 left.

“We haven’t been to an LIC in five years,” Gaffney said. “We always lose to them — we finally did it.”

Ward Melville plays No. 3 Longwood at noon Saturday at Stony Brook for the Suffolk I title.

Longwood advances. Terrance Robinson was not going to watch his high school career end from the sidelines. After missing the last two games because of a broken hand he returned in a big way Saturday.

Robinson ran for 229 yards and three touchdowns on 14 carries to lead No. 3 Longwood over No. 2 Sachem North, 28-7, in a Suffolk I semifinal.

“It’s a testament to how much he cares,” Longwood coach Sean Kluber said. “He missed senior night, he missed a playoff game. For him to come back today — and we weren’t even sure if we were going to use him — was great.”

Nnamdi Nwanyanwu scored the first touchdown for Longwood on a seven-yard run for Longwood (8-2). Sachem North finishes the season 7-3.

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