For three straight years, Floyd has been fortified by a daily dose of vitamin A.J.
Otranto started every game in that stretch, led the Colonials to the Long Island Class I championship game each season, and capped off his stellar career with a stellar closing-night performance. Take a bow, A.J. Otranto.
The 6-1, 195-pound senior ran for two touchdowns and threw for two as Floyd defeated Farmingdale, 31-14, Thursday night in the Class I LIC at Hofstra's Shuart Stadium.
"He's a special guy, a game-changer," Dalers coach Buddy Krumenacker said.
That was the case after Farmingdale (10-2) grabbed a 7-0 lead with a time-consuming drive in the first quarter. Otranto ran the show with skill, and the Colonials answered with their own long drive.
Otranto opened the second quarter with a 13-yard dart to Jawan Jenkins on a skinny post. Later in the quarter, Otranto capped a nine-play, 88-yard drive with a gorgeous 49-yard toss to Vantrell Nash to give Floyd (10-2) a 14-7 halftime lead it never relinquished.
"Whenever he had to make a big throw, he's done it," said Floyd coach Paul Longo, who has guided the Colonials to back-to-back Long Island crowns, five overall and nine LIC appearances since 2001. "There were times we relied on his arm."
Otranto (11 carries for 128 yards and 6-for-10 passing for 84 yards) used his legs to break the game open, and he got help from some inopportune Farmingdale turnovers. The Dalers lost three fumbles and had two interceptions. Early in the third quarter, Curtis Jenkins fumbled a pitch from replacement quarterback Vinny Quinn -- starter Joe Valente suffered a first-half leg injury but did return later -- and Brian Iannone recovered at the Dalers' 26.
Three plays later, Otranto sprinted up the middle on a quarterback draw to score from the 12. Chris Hurtado's PAT made it 21-7. On the ensuing kickoff, Tom Kennedy fumbled after a jarring hit by Iannone and Billy Kaastra recovered at the Farmingdale 31.
Farmingdale made a gutsy defensive stand, but on fourth-and-15 from the 32, Otranto scooted up the middle again for 21 yards and a big first down. The play worked so well, the Colonials called it again, and Otranto ran 11 yards for a touchdown and a 28-7 lead with 5:38 left in the third.
Jenkins (113 yards on 17 carries) led the way on the ground, sometimes out of the Wildcat as Farmingdale improvised until Valente returned. Jenkins scored on a 6-yard burst to make it 28-14 with most of the fourth quarter still to play.
But Farmingdale turned the ball over twice more, once on a fumble and once on an interception, ending any chances for a comeback.
Kevin Petit-Frere led the Dalers on defense with 9.5 tackles. Faison backed Otranto with 87 yards rushing on 15 carries as Floyd ran for 253 yards. Linebacker Miguel Brennin contributed 5.5 tackles for Floyd.
In a fitting final act, Otranto ran 59 yards to the Farmingdale 12 in the final minute, then took a knee twice to end the game and his career.
Take a bow, A.J. It's time for a curtain call.
Notes & quotes: In an unfortunate incident that marred the impressive victory, Floyd offensive tackle Evan McCarthy suffered a serious leg injury on Otranto's first third-quarter touchdown run. McCarthy was carted off the field after an air cast was applied.