By Bill Landon
It was a low scoring ground and pound football game where the Patriots of Ward Melville (No. 4) came knocking on William Floyd’s door the No. 1 seed looking to upset the undefeated Colonials in the Suffolk Div I semi-final Nov. 12. Floyd struck first on a 53-yard pass play 3 minutes before the halftime break but the Patriots quarterback Andrew Belli punched in on a 14 yarder with 5:16 left in the 3rd quarter to even the score. With less than four minutes left in regulation Ward Melville senior running back Nick Gaffney answered the call scoring on a 13-yard run and with Brody Morgans foot, put the Patriots out front 14-7.
Ward Melville capitalized on a Floyd miscue and took over on the 40-yard line. Protecting the ball and needing a first down the Patriots let the clock bleed out to advance to the final round.
The win lifts the Patriots to 8-3 and will face Longwood the No. 3 seed, at Stony Brook University Saturday Nov. 19. Kickoff is scheduled for high noon. Tickets can be purchased at: NYSPHSAA – Section XI Events and Tickets by GoFan.
Photos by Bill Landon