Nothing that had happened before mattered. The planning, the rain throughout the game, the comebacks and the turnovers.
It came down to one play, a two-point conversion that would determine whether host MacArthur or Freeport would win Saturday's Nassau Conference I matchup.
After sophomore Rashad Tucker's 21-yard touchdown pass to Jorden Curtis brought Freeport within a point in the final minutes, Tucker took the snap on the two-point conversion and ran toward the right edge. But the Generals were there to meet him, and MacArthur (6-2) held on for a 21-20 victory.
"We knew it was coming, a jet sweep," running back/defensive back Vin Martino said. "Our players went to that side and he couldn't find a hole."
Freeport coach Russ Cellan said there was no doubt the team would play for the win because snapper Damon Spence had left the game with an injury. Despite four turnovers, the Red Devils (4-4) were able to stick around until the very end.
"They had us physically," Generals lineman Kevin Carboy said. "But as a team, we beat them."
The Generals had broken a 14-14 tie on Jimmy Kelleher's 3-yard run and Jared Wolfe's extra point, which proved to be the game's biggest point.
The Generals' offense was unable to sustain any drives in the first half and went into intermission trailing 6-0 after a 23-yard touchdown run by Tucker.
It turned around on their first drive of the second half, when, after forcing Freeport into a three-and-out, MacArthur started at its 11 and opened with a 36-yard run by Martino. Two plays later, Wolfe broke free for a 46-yard dash down the left side, where he escaped a few tackles, for the tying score. He broke the tie by booting the extra point.
Wolfe then came up with an interception on the Red Devils' next drive. MacArthur needed five plays to go 50 yards, with Martino scoring on a 24-yard run set up by Dom Guiliano's block.
"We just wanted to establish the run," Generals coach Bob Fehrenbach said. "It was just a matter of finding the right plays to call."
Martino gained 125 yards on 14 carries and Wolfe contributed 116 yards on 13 attempts, as well as all three extra points and the interception. Mike Rothberg led the defense with 12 tackles.
"We didn't play a good first half, but we knew we could come back and make it click," Wolfe said. "The offensive line blocking scheme was better for us."
Said Carboy, "We have a senior line and have been running the plays for three years. We had no trouble making adjustments."
Displaying some fine moves, Tucker gained 60 yards on 10 carries and was 4-for-12 passing for 72 yards, including the late touchdown pass to the 6-3 Curtis. D'monte Woody added 99 yards on 12 carries, also displaying an ability to avoid tackles.
"They have some shifty runners," Martino said. "But we had gang tackling. You can't beat us all."