Syosset did something that no other team has done against Farmingdale this season: play a close game.
The Braves lived up to their nickname, playing bravely and competitively in a 28-21 loss Saturday night in a Nassau I semifinal at Hofstra.
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With quarterback Hunter Gross passing for 272 yards and three touchdowns and running the keeper play smartly for another 68 yards on the ground, Syosset made things interesting by narrowing a 28-7 gap to 28-21 in the final minute.
A failed onside kick allowed the top-seeded Dalers to finally exhale.
"That Gross can really throw the ball," Farmingdale quarterback Vinny Quinn said of his counterpart, who had missed four games with an injury, returning for the regular-season finale.
Gross' presence as a passing threat -- he connected with seven different receivers -- gave the Dalers trouble as they were outgained, 447-427, the first time that has happened this season. Farmingdale had won the first meeting, 48-14, and its closest margin of victory was 31-13 over Oceanside in Week 2.
"We haven't used our starters much in the second half for the last four weeks," Farmingdale coach Buddy Krumenacker said. The Dalers had won their previous four games by scores of 47-0, 51-6, 49-14 and 56-7. Saturday night was a different story.
"Our kids got sold that they'd throw the ball," Krumenacker said. "They did, but they ran it, too."
The Braves totaled 172 yards rushing to go with Gross' 272 yards passing.
"It was the slowest start we had," Farmingdale running back Curtis Jenkins said. "But we came back. It was a wake-up call. Sometimes you need that."