Written by Vinny Messana, firstname.lastname@example.org Thursday, 05 December 2013 00:00
With the Nassau County title on the line, junior kicker Zach Kolodny was the most composed player on the field. With time expiring, he booted the game-winning kick to send the Farmingdale Dalers into the Long Island Championship with a 29-26 victory over the Massapequa Chiefs.
“It’s a great feeling,” said Kolodny. “I was confident from the beginning that I would make the kick,” he added. “We practice this every day.”
The game featured a bevy of twists and took on a completely different feel in the fourth quarter than it did for the first three quarters.
The first quarter ended in a scoreless tie, but the Chiefs were driving deep into Daler territory. The Dalers, however, thwarted a long Massapequa drive early in the second quarter with a fourth down stop on the three-yard line to force a turnover on downs. Farmingdale promptly orchestrated a 97-yard drive on only nine plays, thanks to the terrific playmaking ability of Curtis Jenkins (232 yards, 3 TD) who rushed for gains of 21 and 25 yards on consecutive carries. On third down he punched it in from the 4-yard line to give Farmingdale the 6-0 advantage. The extra point — thanks to a powerful wind — was unsuccessful.
On the next drive, the Chiefs began at their own 10-yard line, and put together a 14-play drive. Wide receiver Craig Berge and running back Jack Korber both made great plays to extend the drive, but on 4th & 14 at the Daler 36, quaterback Matt Caracappa (11 for 23, 129 yards 2 TD) failed to connect which led to another turnover. That led to the end of the first half with Farmingdale up 6-0.
After another turnover on downs, the Dalers took over at their own 32. After a three yard gain on the ground and a modest passing gain, quarterback Vinny Quinn (6-for-8, 116 yards 1 TD) connected with Tom Kennedy on a 57-yard touchdown catch, padding the Daler lead to 12-0. Farmingdale attempted the two-point conversion but it was unsuccessful.
Then the Chief offense came to life. Running back Nick Capuana took over and ran for gains of 11 and 5 yards. On 4th & 4, the Chiefs were forced to go for it and Caracappa connected with Berge on a 14-yard touchdown. The extra point was not good, which kept the score at 12-6.
Each team punted on their next drive, which took the game to the fourth quarter. The Dalers began their next drive at their own 38. Kennedy caught a 21-yard pass which took the Dalers into Chief territory. Styvenson Hogarth took the next two carries for gains of 18 and nine yards to move the mall to the 13. After a 5-yard gain by Jenkins, he scored for nine yards out. Kennedy caught the two-point conversion to make the score 20-6. It appeared over at that moment.
The Chiefs took over at their own 48 on the ensuing drive. Capuana rushed for nine yards on a crucial third down to extend the drive. Korber then caught a pass for 11 yards; Capuana gained six yards, and then added carries of five yards and four yards to push the ball to the six-yard line. On 2nd & goal he punched it in to cut into the Daler lead. The extra point was good and the score was now 20-13.
Farmingdale took over at their own 23 looking to run the clock out, but they did even better. Jenkins used his game-changing ability to find a hole and rush 63 yards for the score. The extra point was no good but the score was now 26-13.
“I was dancing around for a little bit,” said Jenkins. “Fortunately I was able to find the hole and score,” he added.
Desperate for a score, the Chiefs received a boost from a 29-yard kickoff return from Korber to the 48. wide receiver Nick Balzano caught a pass to enter the red zone. After a run from Caracappa put the ball on the one-yard line, Korber punched it in to make the score 26-20. The extra point was no good.
With less than two minutes remaining, Massapequa recovered an on-side kick and began their drive at the Dalers 49. Balzano caught a pass for an 11 yard gain to the 38. Andrew Rogers then gained 25 yards to the 13-yard line. A defensive penalty moved the ball up 5 yards to the eight. After a one-yard gain, Korber caught a screen pass and scored from seven out to tie the game. Another failed extra point kept the score tied.
With overtime appearing to be a distinct possibility, the playmakers of the Dalers took over. Quinn ran for a huge gain of 22 yards to put the ball on 41 of the Chiefs. On the next play, Jenkins took a screen pass for a 21-yard gain to the 20. With a field goal firmly in range, the Dalers ran for modest gains to center the ball. After a timeout, Kolodny headed out on the field to attempt the winning kick. The snap and hold was perfect and so was the kick, giving Farmingdale the hard fought victory.