In a fast-paced game of two high-flying offenses, it was ironic that a delay of game penalty nearly changed the entire complexion of the game. But Kendall Bruton, Paul Magloire and Mike Kozlakowski wouldn't allow Lynbrook's undefeated season to be put in jeopardy.
The touchdown assured the Owls' 45-30 win over visiting Hewlett last night under the lights at Marion Street Elementary School. With the victory, Lynbrook takes over sole possession of first place in Nassau Conference III at 5-0, while Hewlett falls to 4-1.
"It was bad time management," Magloire said of the penalty. "We were trying to check out of a play. But we have the talent to overcome any adversity."
Kozlakowski's touchdown, his third of the night to go along with 133 yards on 10 carries, capped a 14-play, 91-yard drive that ate up seven minutes of the third quarter. Thirteen of the 14 plays were rushes. Magloire followed the score with his second two-point conversion run to give Lynbrook a 38-24 lead.
"We have a lot of speed and a lot of great players," said Magloire, who finished with 93 yards through the air, including two TD passes and a two-point throw to Bruton. "And our offensive linemen clear the way for us."
Hewlett, which had allowed only 21 points through its first four games, gave up 22 to Lynbrook in the first half on three touchdowns and conversion runs by Kozlakowski and Magloire.
Kozlakowski kicked off the scoring on the second play from scrimmage when he took a handoff on a trap play 74 yards untouched through the heart of the Hewlett defense to make it 6-0 1:03 into the game.
The big plays kept coming from there.
After Ross Kleinrock's 26-yard field goal, Lynbrook went 3-and-out, and on the first play of the next drive, Alex Kahn hit Lenny Canales for a 40-yard touchdown to give Hewlett a brief 10-6 lead. Why so short-lived?
Because Travis Lock returned the ensuing kickoff 90 yards for a score and Kozlakowski tacked on the conversion to make it 14-10.
Hewlett returned the favor in the second half. After Kozlakowski's second touchdown run (a 40-yarder on the same counter-trap play as his first score), Canales returned a kickoff 92 yards to pull the Bulldogs within 30-24 with 9:58 to play in the third. The Owls knew at that point that it was anybody's game. "We knew it was a big game and we came prepared," Kozlakowski said.
What they weren't prepared for was Hewlett's defensive look on the fourth-and-1, causing the pre-snap confusion that led to the delay of game. But Bruton ran a route over the middle and was left wide open to keep the long drive alive.
Said Lynbrook coach Steve LoCicero: "We play in the moment."