Lynbrook knew it needed a win to clinch a playoff spot, but the Owls faced a difficult task trying to knock off Plainedge Saturday.
Starting the season 1-3, the Owls won three of their last four games to finish 4-4 and make a run at a playoff berth. Plainedge, at 6-2, is a No. 3-seed in the playoffs.
"We're playing our best football at the right time," Lynbrook coach Steve LoCicero said. "As a young team, we feel as if we finally figured out where we need to be."
Tied at 14 with a little over four minutes left, Austin Bilello recovered a fumble at the Lynbrook 26-yard line that led to an 11-play drive to win the game. During the drive, Joe Grossi ran a fake punt for 12 yards on fourth-and-6 from the Lynbrook 30-yard line to keep the drive going. Matt Fernez later ran a reverse on third-and-12 to continue the drive. Danny Kelly then ran four straight times for 32 yards to put the Owls in position for the winning kick.
"It's a huge win for us," LoCicero said. "Plainedge is very well-coached; they're a great team. We played some great defense today to get this win."
Kelly finished with 153 yards and a touchdown on 39 carries and went 4-for-10 for 137 yards and a touchdown. The senior has rushed for 989 yards in the past four games and has 1,162 rushing yards this season.
"We've been using him as a Wildcat quarterback instead of a tailback these past four games," LoCicero said. "I think he's seeing the holes a lot better and the blocking by the offensive line has been great."
Nick LoCicero had two receptions for 75 yards. Bilello led with 11 tackles, three of which were for a loss, and also caught a 49-yard touchdown pass. Kevin Estrada had eight tackles and two sacks and Matt Mott added seven tackles.