Written by Nick Palma Friday, 24 September 2010 00:00It was an exciting Saturday afternoon as the Mineola Mustangs squeaked by Valley Stream North on Sept. 11, 30-23 to gain its first win of the young season. Valley Stream North was ranked right above Mineola in the Long Island Football preview, pinning the underdog tag on the Mustangs in its own stadium.
The Mustangs didn’t feel like an underdog though, as they entered the game with explosiveness on the backs of sophomore starter Brian Gaffney and junior starter Steve Napolitano. Gaffney scored the first points on a five yard touchdown run to make it 6-0 early in the first quarter.
Later in the first quarter, Napolitano found daylight on a 25-yard TD run. After a successful 2-point conversion to junior Nico Pantelides, the score was now 14-0, Mustangs. Valley Stream bounced back in the second quarter by scoring a touchdown to cut the lead in half.
In the last seconds of the first half, Mineola kicker Tom Breslin booted a 30-yard field goal through the goal posts, giving the Mustangs a 17-7 lead. The Mustangs got hot in the third quarter when Napolitano broke out for a 70-yard touchdown, his second of the day.
Fatigue on the defense started to show for the Mustangs as they gave up 16 points in the fourth quarter, with the game at 23-23. With six minutes left in the game, Mineola had to develop a drive with the help of first year starting quarterback Rob Clarkin.
With a few first downs, Mineola took the ball into Valley Stream’s territory and with one minute remaining, Clarkin dumped the ball off to Nico Pantelides on a 5-yard out where stretched the play into a 17-yard game-winning touchdown. Steve Napolitano led all rushers with 173 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Mustangs continue its push toward a playoff berth on Sept. 16 at Clarke High School at 4:30 p.m.