The Mineola varsity football team bounced back from a season-opening loss to put together a strong all-around effort Saturday in defeating East Rockaway, 14-8.
Senior Brian Gaffney sealed the victory with his second interception of the afternoon, this one with 1:13 remaining, to thwart East Rockaway on its final possession.
Gaffney rushed for 130 yards on the afternoon and threw a touchdown pass on a halfback option to Bobby Rodgers for the Mustangs’ first score of the game.
The Turning Point
Mineola was ahead, 14-0, in the third quarter and driving for another touchdown when it committed its only turnover of the game, giving East Rockaway renewed hope. The Rocks held the ball for 7 minutes and drove into scoring position but the Mineola defense held, and took over on downs.
It was that kind of day for Mineola’s defense. The unit stopped East Rockaway when it had to, bottling up the Rocks’ ground and pound running game.
On offense, after Gaffney’s 18-yard scoring pass, Mineola went up 14-0 in the second quarter when junior quarter back Vinny Bienick hooked up with junior Justin Oommen on a beautiful 70-yard touchdown across the middle. Mike Sullivan’s second consecutive extra point made it 14-0.
The Mustangs appeared to add to the lead when Gaffney interercepted a pass at midfield and took it in for the touchdown. However, a late flag came in, nullifying the touchdown and giving the ball back to East Rockaway.
But as was the case all day, the Mustangs’ defense rose up to the challenge.
What the Coach Had to Say
“Awesome, awesome job, much better than last week,” Mineola coach Dan Guido said. “It was a game we needed to win. If we play like that, we can beat some people.”
Mineola returns to action Saturday when it hosts Locust Valley. Game time is 1:30 p.m. at Hampton Stadium.1 2 3 4 F Mineola 7 7 0 0 14 East Rockaway 0 0 0 8 8
Scoring Summary 1st Quarter MHS-ER Mineola TD Rodgers 18-yard pass from Gaffney Sullivan kick 7-0 2nd Quarter MHS-ER Mineola TD Ooman, 70 pass from Bienick Sullivan kick 14-0 4th Quarter MHS-ER East Rockaway TD McClure 18-yard pass from Sheridan 2-point conversion, Blessingham pass
from Sheridan 14-8