The play that set up the game-winning field goal didn't come from any coach's playbook, but it sure had a silver lining.
"Who knows what the heck it was," Farmingdale coach Buddy Krumenacker said.
It was a case of brilliant improvisation by quarterback Vinny Quinn and brilliant sleight of feet by running back Curtis Jenkins.
Jenkins took a pitchout from Quinn and cut upfield for 21 yards to the Massapequa 20. Two plays later, Zach Kolodny kicked a 32-yard field goal on the final play to give Farmingdale a 29-26 win in the Nassau I championship game on Saturday before a crowd estimated at 4,000 at Hofstra's Shuart Stadium.
No. 1 Farmingdale (11-0), the defending Nassau I champion, will face the winner of Sunday's Floyd-Sachem North game at 4:30 p.m. Saturday at Stony Brook for the Long Island Class I championship. No. 3 Massapequa finished 8-3.
"They thought we'd be going deep, so the coaches called a draw," Quinn said of the sequence that began at the Farmingdale 37 with 46 seconds left and followed a magnificent Massapequa rally.
The Chiefs had trailed 20-6 and 26-13 but were undeterred. They marched 48 yards, capped by Jack Korber's 1-yard TD run that made it 26-20 with 2:16 left, recovered the onside kick and marched another 49 yards in 1:30 to tie it on a 7-yard TD pass from Matt Caracappa (11-for-23, 129 yards, two TDs) to Korber.
When the extra point failed, overtime was on nearly everyone's mind. Not the Dalers. "We had time on the clock," Jenkins said.
Time enough for a quick magic show, as Quinn & Jenkins turned into Penn & Teller. "I got caught in the middle and tried to bounce it," Quinn (6-for-8 passing, 116 yards, including a 57-yard TD strike to Tom Kennedy) said of his run. "Then I saw Curtis out of the corner of my eye. It was me and Curtis against one guy, so I pitched it and he did the rest."
Jenkins' 5-yard run put the ball at the Massapequa 15 and Farmingdale called timeout with 11 seconds left. This time Jenkins simply ran it for no gain, but the net gain was that the ball was smack in the middle of the field. Timeouts by Farmingdale and then Massapequa did not freeze Kolodny, whose kick was true.
"I was 100 percent sure he'd make it. That's what he does," Jenkins said.
What Jenkins does is run. He carried 27 times for 232 yards and three touchdowns, including a magical 63-yard scoring jaunt with 2:20 left for a 26-13 lead that looked safe. That play came on a direct snap, a ruse Farmingdale mixed in with its spread.
"I hit the hole and just used my speed," Jenkins said of the Wildcat wrinkle. "It gives me more to read and see the hole."
Jenkins also closed some holes with eight tackles. Fellow linebacker Joe Lee made 91/2 tackles as Farmingdale's defense twice turned Massapequa away from close range.
The biggest stand came on the first play of the second quarter when Kevin Vandermark, fighting an injured ankle all day, stopped Paul Dilena for a 1-yard loss on fourth-and-2 from the 2. Farmingdale then drove 97 yards, with Jenkins high-stepping into the end zone from the 5 for a 6-0 lead.
"This game is evidence of what we always preach: One down at a time," Krumenacker said. "Good things will happen and bad things will happen."
Quinn remembered when Massapequa wide receiver Craig Berge -- who caught a 14-yard touchdown pass Saturday -- got the better of him. "When we were 12 years old, he caught a touchdown pass with seven seconds left that beat us in the championship game," Quinn said of a youth league contest.
This time it was the Dalers' turn for a little late magic.