When a game ends past 10 p.m., it doesn't leave much analysis for the newspaper. It's just the basics — who won, who had a good game and how did they score.
So you know that No. 3 Farmingdale (8-2) defeated No. 2 Oceanside (8-2), 42-20, last night at Hofstra's James M. Shuart Stadium in a Nassau Conference I semifinal. And that the Dalers will play top-seeded Freeport next Thursday in the county final.
Here are three things you may not know (unless you were at the game)...
-There were some fireworks at the end of the game. We'll start from the beginning of the fourth quarter to explain what happened.
Kevin Wahl scored a touchdown on a 15-yard run as time expired in the third quarter to give Farmingdale a 35-20 lead. On the ensuing possession, Oceanside faced a fourth-and-6 from the Farmingdale 49. Garay took a handoff on a sweep, realized he wasn't going to get a first down and changed direction, but was still thrown for a loss of 11 yards giving the Dalers the ball back with 10:04 to play.
Farmingdale faced a fourth-and-3 on their drive, but Oceanside jumped offside, giving the Dalers a first down. They eventually were stopped on fourth-and-3 from the Oceanside 21. Brian Ellis sacked Sal Tuttle for a loss of 19, but was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct.
On the very next play, Tyler Heuer threw his third pick of the game essentially icing the game. And here's where things got interesting.
Wahl converted a third-and-16 from his own 45 with a 23-yard run, and a fourth-and-1 from the Oceanside 23 with a 3-yard plunge. The next two plays went for a loss of five yards, and Oceanside coach Rob Blount called a timeout with his team down by 15 and 41 seconds remaining in the game. After another loss of 1, Blount called another timeout, seemingly upsetting Farmingdale coach Buddy Krumenacker.
On the next play, fourth-and-goal from the 11, Wahl ran for a touchdown to make it 45-20 with 24 seconds to play (Garay was ejected from the game after the touchdown for an infraction I did not see).
Rather than kick it deep, Farmingdale onside kicked on the ensuing kickoff and the Dalers recovered. They took a knee and the game was over. As the teams shook hands, Krumenacker and Blount had a brief shouting match near midfield.
My take on the matter is this: Should Farmingdale have taken a knee up by 15 on first-and-goal from the Oceanside 5 with just about 1:40 to play? Yes, but not because of the "running up the score" aspect, rather, because even if Oceanside got the ball back, they'd have less than a minute to play with no timeouts needing to go 90+ yards just to bring it back within one touchdown. It also eliminates the possibility of a fumble for a touchdown (see, Herm Edwards).
Do I have a problem with Oceanside calling timeouts? No, because down by 15 anything is possible and you may as well go down fighting.
Do I have a problem with Farmingdale onside kicking? Yes, there was no reason for that in a 22-point game with 24 seconds to go, especially because Blount was probably trying to get Heuer at least one more try to break the single-season record for passing yards. Speaking of which...
-Heuer finished the game 13-for-25 for a season-low 135 yards with one touchdown and a season-low three interceptions. His touchdown gave him 34 for the season, which is a new Long Island record. Mike Prahalis of Commack threw 33 TD passes in 11 games in 2000.
He finished with 2,179 passing yards on the season, which is just 22 shy of the Nassau record held by Rob Van Bargen of Massapequa, who did it just three seasons ago.
-Also, Oceanside running back Nick Sherry had just two carries for 20 yards, including a 12-yard touchdown run to put Oceanside on the board in the first quarter. He returned a kickoff eight yards later in the quarter, but appeared to be injured on the play and did not return.