Hackley School had Kellenberg's defense right where it wanted it.
Trailing 10-7 with two minutes remaining, Hackley quarterback Ryan Walker took over on Kellenberg's 30-yard line.
Following a 19-yard completion to Winston Britton on first down that placed the ball at the 11 with 1:47 remaining, Walker again tried to fit one in to Britton in the end zone, only to see the ball land incomplete.
On second-and-10, Anthony Leone had seen enough. The Firebirds' defensive end sacked Walker for a loss of 10. One play later, Kellenberg's Nolan Duschere and Jesse McGlone ended it. Duschere's hit on Jack Hogan at the 10-yard line resulted in a fumble and a recovery by McGlone.
And that's how Kellenberg held on to defeat Hackley School, 10-7, in a non-league win Sunday at Mitchel Athletic Complex in Uniondale.
"It was an in-cut play and [Hogan] came right at me," Duschere said. "I was free, looking for work. I made the hard hit and saw the ball pop out."
Enter McGlone. "I was backpedaling because we were in man coverage and I saw Nolan make the hit," McGlone said. "I had made a couple of mistakes earlier and I said to myself at that point, 'No matter what, I'm getting this ball.' "
McGlone recovered and helped get across Kellenberg's defensive message, which is "shut down and nothing" for opponents late in games.
Leone certainly had a big say in that with his late-game sack.
"We came out of the huddle and I had a special stunt planned," Leone said. "I went through the B-gap, cutting in instead of going wide. I had to fight off a few hands, but I was right off the ball fast and going. [Walker] wasn't getting away from me at that point."
Jason DeLucia's 47-yard touchdown run put Kellenberg (4-1) on top 10-0 following James Crist's extra point with 6:12 remaining in the third quarter.
Hogan's 15-yard touchdown reception at the midway point of the fourth quarter made it a one-possession game.
Crist's 27-yard field goal right before halftime put Kellenberg up 3-0.