Ryan Carroll had just been sacked by the Mineola offense, pushing him to the edge of the red zone Friday night. The Island Trees QB wasn’t going to let that stand. He had known that the Mustang defense had come up against Cold Spring Harbor a couple of weeks ago, how they had held that offense when it was necessary; when there was no room left for error.
But this was a different night, on a different field, at a different school. Carroll and the Bulldog lines had been able to score on the opening drive of the game, showing how difficult it would be to contain their offense. On that first possession Carroll had let Brian Eletti run through from 10 yards out. Here, he spied Jimmy Carabott in the endzone – and connected.
Now it would be up to Jose Carvajal, who had missed his earlier PAT on the Eletti run and having the Island Trees offense opt for conversions to Eletti the rest of the way in order to just get to this point – a 28-28 tie in overtime. Eddie Sanchez had already given them new life – flying untouched through the defensive line – when he blocked Mineola’s kick after RB Brian Gaffney scored from 4-yards out, his third touchdown of the game, including a 70-yard run.
The entire game the Mineola defense had been pounded with missed and broken tackles that allowed Island Trees to continue their drives, including a 15-yard play action run by Brandon Cassar in the third capped by a conversion that saw the Bulldogs take their first lead in the third, 22-14.
Mineola QB Vinny Bieniek again was able to hand the ball off to Gaffney for a late 19-yard touchdown run and rattle off his own conversion that helped send the game into the extra frame, allowing Gaffney to again run into the endzone from 4 yards out.
Carvajal wouldn’t miss, splitting the uprights and shocking the visiting Mustangs 29-28, sending them into the playoffs with a 5-3 record and forcing a meeting with undefeated Seaford in the playoffs.1 2 3 4 OT F Mineola 14 0 0 8 6 28 Island Trees 6 8 8 0 7 29