Urged on by a boisterous crowd standing in unison and by cheering teammates, the Mineola Mustangs defensive line stopped Cold Spring Harbor’s Jordan Walter on the 2-yard line with 9 seconds left in the fourth quarter Friday night to preserve a 21-14 victory in a Nassau IV contest under the lights at Hampton Stadium.
The Mustangs (3-2) actually made two goal-line stands, stopping Walter on third down from the 3 and fourth down from the 2.
Tied 14-all in the fourth quarter, junior quarterback Vinny Bieniek scored on a 13-yard keeper, going untouched into the end zone. The series started at the Seahawks’ 27-yard line following an excellent 23-yard punt return by senior RB Brian Gaffney.
The Mustangs had dominated the first half, taking a 14-0 lead and driving 63 yards on 16 plays, culminating in Gaffney’s 1-yard touchdown run in their second possession. For the game, Gaffney rushed for 121 yards and made 12 tackles on defense.
The Mustangs scored again 50 seconds before the half on a 10-yard slant pass to Bobby Rogers. Mike Sullivan converted the extra point for a 14-0 lead.
Cold Spring Harbor had just one first down in the first half, but the second half was a different story. On the third play of the third quarter, Walter burst 27 yards around the left side for the Seahawks’ biggest gain to that point. Five players later, he took it 16 yards for the score. The Seahawks initially set up to kick the extra point, but after a Mineola penalty moved the ball half the distance to the goal, the team opted for the 2-point conversion. Walter ran it in to close the deficit to 14-8.
On the first play of its next series, Walter ran 50 yards to the Mineola 30. Cold Spring Harbor would eventually score on a 2-yard run by Frankie Stubbolo, but was stopped on the conversion by the Mineola defense.
The game-ending stand not only gave the Mustangs a winning record for the season, but puts them in good position for the remainder of the regular season.
“This was a great accomplishment, they showed a lot of heart at the end,” Mineola head coach Dan Guido said of his team. “Every team we play from this point on we can beat, but every game is probably going to be like this. There are no easy teams.”
Mineola travels to Malverne on Saturday for a 1:30 p.m. game.1 2 3 4 F Cold Spring Harbor 0 0 14 0 14 Mineola 7 7 0 7 21
Scoring Summary 1st Quarter CSH-MHS Mineola TD Gaffney 1-yard Run
Sullivan kick 0-7 2nd Quarter Mineola TD Bieniek 1--yard pass to Rogers Sullivan kick 0-14 3rd Quarter CSH-MHS Cold Spring Harbor TD Walter 16-yard run Walter run 8-14 Cold Spring Harbor TD Stubbolo 2-yard run Walter run failed 14-14 4th Quarter CSH-MHS Mineola TD Bieniek 13-yard run Sullivan kick 14-21