Brenden Femiano is establishing himself as one of the city’s top football players, and one of the biggest reasons for Poly Prep’s perfect start.
The transfer from St. Anthony’s provides the Blue Devils with the power running back they needed to complement shifty quarterback Chris Parker and senior speedster Gregory Charles.
Femiano excelled as the featured back with Charles injured during the Blue Devils’ first three games. That includes the first four-touchdown game of the junior’s career in a win over Xaverian on Sept. 7. One of those scores was an interception return for a touchdown. Two weeks ago against Niagara Academy, he broke an 80-yard touchdown run to highlight a two-score day.
Femiano has been exactly what Poly hoped for and maybe more.
“He’s been a tremendous addition to this team,” Blue Devils coach Dino Mangiero said. “He’s been a Godsend.”
Femiano, who moved to Marine Park, was looking for change after his sophomore season at the Long Island Catholic High School Football’s league power. There he was the third running back, behind star back Jordan Gowins and Anthony Anderson, and just playing offense. He figured to be No. 2 this season with Anderson graduating and Gowins only a junior. He felt he needed a fresh start.
“Better opportunity, better team,” Femiano said of Poly. “A family-oriented place that fit me the best. St. Anthony’s is a great program. They treated me well. They were good to me. It just wasn’t for me anymore.”
St. Anthony’s loss has been Poly Prep’s gain.
The 5-foot-11, 200-pound Femiano is a power runner and a big change up from Charles and Parker, who are much speedier and shifter. Together, they give the Blue Devils a hard-to-defend offense that can run over, around and through opposition, and defenses don’t know which one of the trio is getting the ball.
Poly is 5–0, and outscoring opponents 202–59 this season.
“Brenden is that hard tough guy that is running up the middle, getting us extra yards” said Notre Dame-bound lineman Jay Hayes.
Femiano, who is also a linebacker, believes he has gotten all that he could ask for so far since transferring to Poly. He has transitioned well to playing both ways, and is just fine with not having a title to chase like they did at St. Anthony’s, because the Blue Devils play an independent schedule.
Femiano said he doesn’t have a college actively recruiting him yet, but feels that he’s exactly where he need to be to start getting the area’s fans’ and college coaches’ attention.
“Truly, things have been amazing,” Femiano said of the season so far. “I came on the campus first day, they took me in as one of their own. It felt like I was right at home.”