With his teammates huddled to his left, their white Farmingdale football jerseys looking more like green muck, and Massapequa’s yellow pants smothered in mud with the rowdy Chiefs crowd behind them to his right, Briant DeFelice stood — then squatted — alone at the 24-yard line in his pearly white Dalers jersey, waiting for his moment to decide the game’s fate.
With the score tied at 42, the Farmingdale kicker lined up and drilled a 34-yard field goal through the middle of the uprights as time expired, giving the visiting Dalers a 45-42 victory over Massapequa in a battle of undefeated Nassau I football teams on a rainy Saturday afternoon.
“I’m going in my head ‘I have to hit this kick,’ ” DeFelice said. “This is the game and sure enough I did. I was happy they tried to ice me because that gave me more time to envision my shot.”
DeFelice tightened his helmet before the kick, knowing once it went through the uprights, he’d be mobbed by his teammates.
“I was very confident,” quarterback Tommy Donovan said. “Coach told me to get to the middle of the field and that’s what I did. I set him up and I was positive that he was going to kick that through. We practiced that and he’s one of the county’s best kickers.”
Donovan did his part. After Joe Quinn’s interception with 2:05 remaining gave the Dalers the ball at their own 39-yard line, Donovan executed a 10-play, 45-yard drive taking the ball to Massapequa’s 17-yard line. Before the final kick, the drive’s biggest play came when Donovan connected with Jake Heuskin after evading the pass rush on a third-and-8 with 49 seconds remaining for a 20-yard pass to the 20-yard line.
“We never gave up and that’s the main thing,” Donovan said. “We talked about dealing with adversity last week when we were down for the first time and we were down at half this week again.”
Massapequa (4-1) took a 26-21 lead into halftime, courtesy of a 1-yard touchdown run by Anthony Buckshaw, two 3-yard touchdown runs by Griffin Hawthorne and a 56-yard interception return for a touchdown by Michael DeDonato. Farmingdale (5-0) scored on the right arm of Donovon twice, the first coming on an 11-yard shovel pass to Kevin Eversley and the second on a 29-yard pass to Antonio Smikle Jr. Darrin Simons had a 40-yard interception return score for Farmingdale.
Massapequa’s Kenny Galvin threw for a 73-yard score to Alec Surrow and he had a 24-yard TD strike to Shane Gibbons in the second half.
For Farmingdale in the second half, Eversley scored on a 1-yard touchdown run and Jordan McLune had an 80-yard kick return for a TD and a 2-yard rushing score, which tied the score at 42 with less than three minutes remaining.
But in the end, it was DeFelice’s right leg that sealed the game.
“I knew as soon as I hit, I had that good feeling,” DeFelice said. “I was like ‘Yeah, we just won that game.’ ”