Sayville celebrates winning the Suffolk Class B flag football championship game...

Sayville celebrates winning the Suffolk Class B flag football championship game at Sachem North High School on Friday, May 17, 2024. Credit: David Meisenholder

While defending a one-point lead for the first time this season, the Sayville flag football team remained calm and unleashed its storm in Olivia Moynihan.

With less than three minutes remaining, Moynihan backpedaled on fourth-and-goal from the Hauppauge 2-yard line and launched a perfect pass to Mia DeSimone for a touchdown to lift the top-seeded Golden Flashes past the No. 2 Eagles, 22-13, in the Suffolk Class B championship game on Friday at Sachem North.

Moynihan found Ava Vadyak on the ensuing two-point pass, helping Sayville (12-0) clinch its first county title.

“Everything starts clicking once we’re having fun,” Moynihan said. “This was a challenge for us but we embraced it. We picked each other up and always kept the energy high.”

After Hauppauge’s Sarah Adams sacked Moynihan on fourth-and-goal to force a turnover on Sayville’s first possession, Moynihan commanded the next two drives.

She rushed 41 yards up the sideline for the Golden Flashes’ first score. On Hauppauge’s ensuing possession, Amelia Sarni tipped and intercepted the ball to set up a four-play, 44-yard scoring drive capped by a 2-yard run by Moynihan. Her point-after pass to DeSimone put Sayville up 14-0 with 10:58 left in the first half.

Sayville’s defense, led by senior Ava Rueb (three sacks), held Hauppauge sophomore quarterback Taylor Mileti in check early on. Mileti completed 5 of 13 passes for 43 yards in the first half.

“Our defense was incredible. We were prepared,” Sayville coach Reade Sands said. “Hauppauge has great players on their team and we knew we had to stop [Mileti] from running the ball. They understood exactly what to do in each situation.”

In the second half, Hauppauge (11-3) scored on consecutive drives when Mileti connected with Melissa O’Connor for touchdown passes of 1 and 17 yards. Mileti ran in the first extra-point attempt but was denied on a pass to O’Connor after the second score, and Hauppauge trailed 14-13 with 11:19 left.

Moynihan, who threw for 104 yards and rushed for 121, joined the Sayville defense in the final minutes. Moynihan, also the goalkeeper on the Sayville girls soccer team, used her leaping ability to swat away a long pass, and DeSimone had the final flag pull to preserve the victory.

“This was like a redemption to us because we came up short last year,” Moynihan said. “This feels incredible.”

“I cheer, so I’ve always seen the football players do these crazy plays on the field and I never thought I would be doing that one day,” Rueb said. “It shows we can do it too.”

Sayville will face the winner of No. 5 Plainedge/No. 3 East Rockaway in the Long Island Class B championship game on Thursday at Long Beach.


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