Farmingdale's feelings on field goals are fickle.
Frequently they induce fear, but in Friday's first-round Conference I playoff game, they were "fantastic," - at least for the fella who put his foot to the ball.
Greg Catalano's 24-yarder with 2:13 left in the game were the deciding points in the No. 3 Dalers' 24-22 home win over No. 6 MacArthur in the conference quarterfinals. If No. 2 Oceanside wins today against No. 7 Massapequa, the Sailors and Dalers will meet at Hofstra on Thursday in the county semifinals.
"I just told myself, 'The season's not going to end on me,'" Catalano said after the game. "'I'm not missing.'"
Catalano swept the ball off the carpet from inside the left hash and it flew inside the left upright. It was the only points the Dalers (7-2) scored in the second half.
"I didn't tell him anything," Farmingdale coach Buddy Krumenacker said. "I told him what I thought of him when I sent him out there. That was the biggest vote of confidence I could give."
The Generals (5-4) had a chance to win after driving 57 yards to the Farmingdale 22 with 55.5 seconds left. But quarterback/kicker Kevin Monahan's 39-yard field-goal attempt, which had plenty of distance, sailed just wide to the left. The situation was reminiscent of the Dalers' Week 2 loss to East Meadow, when Hector Guerrero nailed a 48-yarder to cap an improbable comeback.
"The memory goes back a little bit to that," said Farmingdale quarterback Sal Tuttle. "I'm the happiest man in the world right now."
MacArthur took the lead via two spectacularly executed trick plays. Tom Joyce caught a 57-yard bomb from backup quarterback Gerard Cunningham, who was split out wide left when he was thrown a lateral from Monahan. Four plays later, Joyce ran it in from 6 yards to make it a one-point game with 7:06 left.
The Generals lined up for the extra point, but Monahan caught a direct snap and found a wide-open Brett Ellers in the end zone for the two-point conversion to make it 22-21 MacArthur.
But Farmingdale, which scored on a 52-yard scoring drive in 1:50 to take a 21-14 halftime lead, drove again in the fourth quarter. Kevin Wahl carried the ball six times for 32 yards and Tuttle scrambled for another 16 before the drive stalled on the MacArthur 7.
Said Wahl: "Anything can happen in Conference I football."
Especially phenomenal finishes from field goals.