Carroll-to-Carabott and Sanchez's blocked PAT lift Island Trees in OT

Island Trees running back Matt Anzalone returns the

Island Trees running back Matt Anzalone returns the opening kickoff in a game against Mineola. (Oct. 26, 2012) (Credit: Steven Ryan)

Island Trees' Eddie Sanchez blocked an extra-point attempt, Ryan Carroll found Jimmy Carabott near the goal line for a 25-yard score and Jose Carvajal nailed the extra point as the Bulldogs beat Mineola, 29-28, in overtime Friday night in Nassau IV football. Island Trees (4-4) guaranteed itself a spot in the playoffs.

On the fourth possession in overtime, Mineola's Vinny Bieniek hit Gabe Echeverry over the middle for a 15-yard completion and Brian Gaffney scored a play later on a 4-yard scamper around the left side. On the ensuing extra-point attempt, Sanchez barreled through the defense to snuff the snap and leave Mineola with a six-point lead.

Then, on third-and-15, Carroll, under pressure, lobbed the ball to Carabott, who dived into the end zone to tie the score before Carvajal's kick won it.


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Mineola had tied the score at 22 with a little more than six minutes remaining in the fourth quarter when Gaffney broke free through a hole up the middle for a 19-yard touchdown and Bieniek passed to a leaping Ryan Eccher for a two-point conversion.

With 2:14 left in the third quarter, Island Trees' Brandon Cassar cruised up the left side for a 17-yard touchdown. Mineola was flagged during the Bulldogs' failed two-point conversion attempt and Carroll found Dan Connelly in the end zone for the eight-point advantage.

That was Island Trees' first lead since the opening drive, when Brian Eletti broke off left guard for a 10-yard touchdown six plays after Matt Anzalone's 25-yard run.

Mineola responded two minutes later on Gaffney's 70-yard TD and again after a Bulldogs fumble set up an eight-play, 56-yard march that included clutch third- and fourth-down conversions by Bieniek and Eccher. The first was a 28-yard, over-the-shoulder catch by Eccher on third down. The second was 20-yard TD pass on fourth-and-6 with 1:18 left in the first quarter.

Eighteen seconds into the second quarter, Carroll found Eletti on third-and-14. The running back made the catch near the left sideline and broke free of an ankle tackle by Echeverry for the 25-yard score. Later, with the pocket collapsing around him, Carroll rolled right and found a wide-open Eletti in the corner of the end zone to tie it at 14.

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