Enrique McFarlane's 15-yard fumble return gives West Hempstead win

West Hempstead's Enrique McFarlane, left, eludes the tackle West Hempstead's Enrique McFarlane, left, eludes the tackle of Roosevelt's Johnnie Akins during their Nassau IV football game at Roosevelt High School. (Oct. 20, 2012) Photo Credit: Barry Sloan

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In a matchup between two of Nassau's top rushing attacks, West Hempstead coach Dom Carre told his players that it would come down to whoever made more big plays.

It came down to one play, and boy, was it a big one -- by the defense.

Enrique McFarlane returned a fumble 15 yards for the deciding touchdown as West Hempstead edged Roosevelt, 29-26, Saturday in Nassau IV.

Defense was the order of the day for both West Hempstead (6-1) and Roosevelt (5-2), as both teams were able to stifle the other's ground game.

"We stopped their run, and they stopped our run," Carre said. "I told our kids that it would come down to whoever made more big plays, and we just made the last big play."

McFarlane's fumble return capped a 16-point comeback for the Rams, who trailed 26-13 entering the fourth quarter.

"These kids are resilient," Carre said. "They kept playing. I don't think they were affected by being down two scores."

The comeback started when Mike Petrizzo found Tayvon Hall on a pass that got the Rams to the 2-yard line. Hall scored on a 1-yard plunge and Petrizzo scored on the two-point run to bring the Rams within five.

On the ensuing drive, Donovan Steele forced a fumble on a Roosevelt run with 11:34 left in the fourth quarter. McFarlane scooped it up and ran it in to provide the final margin.

Hall led the offense with 111 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries.

"[Roosevelt] took us away from what we wanted to do, which was run the ball," Carre said. "It was really the defense that won it for us."

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