It was the first time the Freeport football team trailed all season.
And the Red Devils took it personal. Very personal.
Massapequa opened the Nassau Conference I semifinal with a 13-play, 66-yard scoring drive for the early lead.
That lead lasted all of 16 seconds.
Freeport scored on four of its next five touches, including a Jayvian Allen 40-yard punt return for a touchdown, and the Red Devils opened a 41-6 halftime lead and rolled to a 48-20 win over Massapequa Thursday night before a crowd of 800 in Shuart Stadium at Hofstra University.
Freeport (10-0) extended its winning streak to 22 games and will meet Farmingdale in the final on Thursday at Hofstra at 7 p.m. It will be the Red Devils' 17th appearance in the Nassau Conference I title game. They have a record of 8-7-1 in those finals.
“We weren’t communicating well on that first drive and we made some adjustments,” said Freeport’s Myles Norris. “Massapequa is a tough team and the quarterback is very good. We made the necessary changes to fix the defense.”
Massapequa quarterback John Giller found Tim Morrow cutting across the face of the secondary for a 15-yard score and a 6-0 lead with 5:18 left in the first quarter. Jayvian Allen blocked the extra point attempt. The touchdown was set up by a well-timed screen pass to halfback Terence Gallivan for 18 yards to the Freeport 13.
“We executed on that first drive,” said Massapequa coach Kevin Shippos. “It was a great drive.
Freeport’s response was epic.
The Red Devils scored on their first play from scrimmage. Junior Ausani Allen went over left tackle behind a big block from Norris and sprinted 65 yards untouched for the tying score. Chayse Gordon added the point-after for the 7-6 lead with 5:02 left.
After a short Chiefs punt, Terrance Edmond went over right tackle 35 yards for the touchdown and a 14-6 lead.
Massapequa went three and out again, including Dakarai Stevenson’s 17-yard sack of Giller to the Chiefs' 14. On the ensuing punt, Jayvian Allen took the kick on the run at the Massapequa 40, went right and then cut inside the first defender untouched to the end zone, for the 21-6 lead with 50 seconds left. It was Allen’s third kick return for a score this season.
“There was no wind and the kick came right to me,” Allen said. “I saw a gap and hit it.”
The Freeport defense led by Norris, Stevenson and Tristan Saab shut down the Chiefs offense for the third straight series. Two plays later, Edmond hit Arnold Cruz for a 37-yard touchdown down the middle of the field for the 27-6 lead with 10:04 left in the half.
Freeport scored four times in five plays for a 27-6 lead. Time of possession was only 1:16.
"We are a quick strike offense because of our speed,” Edmond said. “We share the ball and play a team concept. We’re usually out of the game before halftime. And then we root for the other guys that work hard in practice all week.”
The Red Devils added two short second quarter touchdown runs, Jayvian Allen for one yard and Jerry Ellis for two yards for the 41-6 lead with 4:33 left in the half. Freeport's starters exited midway through the second quarter.
The Red Devils were play and time efficient in the first half. Massapequa held a 19:43-to-4:17 advantage in time of possession and ran 32 plays to Freeport’s 12 and trailed by 35.
Morrow took the second half kickoff a school-record 99 yards for a touchdown to make it 41-13. It was the second longest kickoff return in Nassau playoff history. Freeport’s Jalen Hood returned a kickoff 100 yards for a score on Nov. 17, 2016.
Freeport’s Christian Quinn returned a fourth quarter kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown for the final margin.
“We ran into a buzz saw,” Shippos said.