For all of the yardage that Mineola senior running back Brian Gaffney has accumulated for the varsity football team during the 2012 season, by this point in the season his teammates would have been calling him by some nickname that has a variant of “legs” in its etymology.
“I don’t really look at the stats that much,” he said this past Saturday after a game against Oyster Bay to close out the Mustangs’ season at home, sprinting 72 yards for his first touchdown of the day and returning an interception 54 yards for his second score. “As long as we’re winning. The coaches put me in good position, I’ve got a great line blocking for me; we’re rolling right now, we’re doing good.”
If he had bothered to take a look at his numbers, he would have noticed that at last count he has 694 rushing yards on 103 attempts, not to mention 8 touchdowns, and a cinch to make all-county.
Mineola’s first score Saturday at Hampton Stadium “was all Brian Gaffney,” said head coach Dan Guido. “He just broke it in the wrong direction and ran for a touchdown… and he picks off one for a touchdown.”
Guido paused for a moment, adding: “We probably could’ve scored most of the time we had the ball. They’ve actually played better against other teams, we thought they were going to be a little better than that because they have had some close games that they’ve lost,” referring to the matches both teams had with Malverne, both beating the Mules.
Mineola played themselves as old-school ball-hogs, running up a 41-7 score, in what would have been a shutout if they wanted to, if the first lines had remained in the game.
“We’re better than them,” Guido said of the 1-6 Baymen. “They’re the last seed; they were supposed to be the weakest team we played so we did what we should’ve done because we’re much better than them and we beat them good.”
But this is senior day, when the coaching staff gets a breather, where every member of the upperclass gets a chance in their last game in front of their home fans.
“It’s definitely a little upsetting, our last game here, but it’s all right,” Gaffney said about his last football game at Hampton Stadium.
“It’s incredible, I wouldn’t want it to end any other way. These guys are my family and I’ve loved every minute of it,” senior CB Rohit Singla said, still coming off a high of nabbing an interception and hooking the Baymen defense around for a 48-yard touchdown. “I saw they passed out and I dropped back and the guy was covered, the quarterback, there was some pressure on him, he made a pretty bad throw, I was there to pick it off and then my defense did a great job blocking for me and I saw a hole and I took it in.”
The Mustang’s current 5-2 record assures them a playoff seed higher than the eighth spot they have had in recent years, and which could be as high as fourth depending on if they can win next week and Valley Stream North, Locust Valley and Clarke, win or lose.
“We’re hoping to get five,” Guido said, a bit of realism to temper such audacious hopes.
“This week (the defense was) big, the team wasn’t as good, but our defense stepped up and hopefully it will continue that way through the playoffs and hopefully make Hofstra – that’s our goal, make Hofstra,” said Singla.
“That’s where I get all my yards from,” Gaffney added, smiling. “They block for me and I credit them for everything I do. They just make a hole and that’s where I go and my legs take me.”
So far, he has helped take them to a 5-2 record and into the playoffs with a seed higher than they have had before and maybe, even to Hofstra.1 2 3 4 F Oyster Bay 0 0 7 0 7 Mineola 21 14 0 6 41
Scoring Summary 1st Quarter OB-MHS Mineola TD Gaffney 72-yard run
0-7 Mineola TD Bieniek 5-yard pass to Rogers Sullivan kick 0-14 Mineola TD Gaffney 54-yard interception return Sullivan kick 0-21 2nd Quarter OB-MHS Mineola TD Bienick 29-yard run Sullivan kick 0-28 Mineola TD Singla 48-yard interception return Sullivan kick 0-35 3rd Quarter Oyster Bay TD Galizia 37-yard run Hauser kick 7-35 4th Quarter OB-MHS Mineola TD Sullivan 46-yard run Sullivan kick failed 7-41