Senior Billy Holscher booted a 31-yard field goal in the third overtime to give visiting Commack a thrilling and ultradramatic 31-28 victory over Sachem North Friday night in a battle of unbeaten teams in Suffolk I.
Jesse Kilmetis plunged 3 yards into the middle of the field on third-and-long, bringing the ball to the 15 and setting up Holscher's kick.
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Commack (5-0), which entered the game giving up a league-low 34 points, made its defensive stop in the third overtime when a holding penalty stung North (4-1) and moved it out of scoring range.
The teams traded touchdowns in the first two overtime drives that all began from the 20. Malik Pierre scored from the 1 and 2 for North, and Rob Paccione scored from the 1 on a quarterback sneak and Kilmetis also scored from the 1.
North opened the second half with its best drive of the game, and the only one that featured a series of successful running plays. The Flaming Arrow marched 67 yards in 15 plays, culminating in Pierre's 1-yard dive that, with Bryan Morris' kick, tied the score.
The drive had three fourth-down conversions. Trent Crossan hit Pierre for 10 yards on fourth-and-3; Anthony Ross ran 7 yards on fourth-and-4, and Matt Ward caught a tipped pass at the 1 on fourth-and-4.
The Cougars wasted an excellent chance to win it in regulation when they marched 65 yards late in the fourth quarter. But they needed 66. On a bootleg right, Paccione scooted 4 yards to the 1, but in trying to lunge across the goal line, fumbled and the ball bounced through the end zone for a costly touchback with 1:15 left.
North's vaunted offense, featuring what coach Dave Falco likes to call its "four-headed monster" of a backfield, was held in check in the first half.
With Crossan still favoring a sprained ankle, the Flaming Arrows lacked crispness and running backs Pierre, Ross and Kevin Bragaglia combined for only 9 yards rushing.
The only thing that kept North in the game was, oddly enough, the passing of Crossan. He completed 3 of 4 for 109 yards, including a nice 53-yard scoring pass to Ward midway through the second quarter that tied it at 7.
Commack had grabbed a 7-0 lead when Augie Contressa stepped in front of a receiver, intercepted a Crossan pass and returned it 64 yards to the Arrows' 6. It took four plays, but Paccione finally scored on a 1-yard rollout.
Contressa came up from his cornerback spot twice to stop Bragaglia on sweeps for 5-yard losses and middle linebacker Josh Valentin and tackle Kyle Prpich snuffed out inside runs to neutralize an offense that entered averaging 44 points.