Three-win seasons don’t usually precede greatness.
Then again, three-win seasons are a rare sight at Farmingdale High School.
Yet that was the scenario as the Dalers reported for two-a-days in the August heat. No one could have predicted the Farmingdale football team would keep on playing to the last Thursday in November.
Coach Buddy Krumenacker’s Dalers made their seventh appearance in the Long Island championship since the playoff format began in 1992. It was a remarkable turnaround from a 3-5 run in 2011.
“I really didn’t think we’d make it this far,” Dalers senior running back/linebacker Kevin Petit-Frere said. “The confidence built. As practices went on, we got better and better. As games went on, we got better and better. We knew we were going to make a run, some way somehow.”
But Farmingdale ran into an even more seasoned foe. Perennial Suffolk champ Floyd forced five turnovers to hand Farmingdale a 31-14 loss before a crowd of 4,000 at Hofstra’s Shuart Stadium.
Floyd senior quarterback A.J. Otranto, playing in his third straight LIC, accounted for four touchdowns in a masterful performance. Otranto ran for 128 yards and two scores on 11 carries. He also completed 6 of 10 passes for 84 yards and two touchdowns.
“When two championship teams play, good luck surviving that,” Krumenacker said of the turnovers.
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One week after star running back Curtis Jenkins was benched for missing practice, he opened the game with a vengeance. He carried the ball five times for 47 yards on the opening drive alone.
Petit-Frere finished off the possession with a bull run into end zone on fourth-and-3 from the 4. Zach Kolodny's extra point put the Dalers (10-2) up 7-0.
“I was very hungry,” said Jenkins, who finished with 113 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries. “I made a mistake. I came back and moved on. I gave it all I could. I left it all out on the field.”
Floyd (10-2) countered with an Otranto blitz and took a 14-7 edge into halftime.
Along the way, Dalers starting quarterback Joe Valente went down with a knee injury.
“I’m alright,” said Valente, who returned to the game late in the third quarter with a taped up left knee. “Bad time for it to happen though.”
Then turnovers doomed the Dalers.
Otranto ran for 12-yard score after a Farmingdale turnover to take a 21-7 lead with 8:20 left in third.
By the time Jenkins scored on 6-yard run, closing the gap to 28-14 with 11:47 left, there wasn't much time left. The Dalers simply didn’t have enough offensive firepower to catch up.
Still, it wasn't a complete loss. All you had to do was remember 2011 to realize this team came so far.
“This is one of the greatest experiences of my life,” said Petit-Frere, who added 9 ½ tackles. “We made it all the way to the LIC.”
Long Island Class I ChampionshipTeams 1 2 3 4 F Floyd 0 14 14 3 31 Farmingdale 7 0 0 7 14
FARM – Petit-Frere 4 run (Kolodny kick)
FLOYD – Jenkins 14 pass from Otranto (Hurtado kick)
FLOYD – Nash 49 pass from Otranto (Hurtado kick)
FLOYD – Otranto 12 run (Hurtado kick)
FLOYD – Otranto 11 run (Hurtado kick)
FARM – Jenkins 6 run (Kolodny kick)
FLOYD – Hurtado 25 FG