When John Wilson scored a 3-yard touchdown to put East Meadow up on Baldwin by four points with just four minutes left in the game, it seemed too much time might be left.
Neither Nassau I team had gotten a stop in the second half. But after the Bruins made first down on their next possession, the clock was running down with the team at its own 31. Forced to go to the air, Baldwin had four incomplete passes and the Jets (4-3) held on, 34-30, at home for the victory. It was the first time East Meadow was over .500 this season.
"It was a great game," East Meadow coach Vinny Mascia said. "They came back every time, we came back every time and the clock favored us."
Wilson scored three touchdowns and finished with 90 yards rushing, but wasn't a one-man show. Nick Conti added 78 yards on nine carries, Nick Suchocki had 45 on five and freshman quarterback Anthony Love contributed 59 yards on 10 carries. Love was 4-for-7 for 61 yards passing.
"We're a very balanced team," Mascia said. "We don't have that great player, but we have a lot of good players."
Before the winning drive, the Bruins (3-4) took a 30-27 lead when Nick De Luca (nine carries, 51 yards) escaped a tackle and was able to run 20 yards for a score. East Meadow responded with a nine-play, 62-yard drive.
"We couldn't stop them," Baldwin coach Stephen Carroll said. "When you score 30 points, you should win a football game, it's as simple as that."
After Wilson's 2-yard score capped an 80-yard opening drive for East Meadow, Baldwin responded with De Luca's 15-yard run and capitalized on the Jets' fumble on its 1 with Derek Drew's 2-yarder and a two-point conversion making it 16-6. Suchocki's 8-yard run sent the Jets into halftime trailing 16-14.
"We came out in the first half not as strong as we could've played," said linebacker Dylan Hippner, who had 12 tackles for East Meadow. "We had a big talk in the locker room and came out ready to play."
Love, a 14-year-old who moved to East Meadow from Oklahoma this year, avoided mistakes in the second half after some early struggles. The quarterback was able to get outside the pocket and flip to a running back for a decent gain.
The defense stopped Baldwin on its first drive of the second half, then the Jets took the lead back with trickery. Love flipped to Suchocki, who found Adam Arbuse downfield. Arbuse outleaped his defender for a 25-yard scoring reception.
"Everything was going through my mind [when I threw it]," Suchocki said. "Arbuse came up for me big and when he jumped for the touchdown, I jumped in relief."
The Bruins responded with a 60-yard TD from Tyler Warner to Tyshawn Harris, setting up the fourth quarter.
"We get to take a deep breath and enjoy the win," Suchocki said. "Then we look ahead to the next game."