Aidan Mulholland and Derek Mulholland might not be related, but between Aidan’s 71-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and Derek’s 24-yard interception return for a TD, they worked as brothers within the team concept to help clinch Manhasset's 24-21 win over Mepham in a Nassau II football game.
“I knew that our defense would have to make big plays,” Derek Mulholland said. “We knew going into the fourth quarter, it was either win or lose and our defense would be essential.”
Manhasset was up by 3 going into the final period. Derek Mulholland’s pick-6 made the score 24-14 toward the middle of the fourth. Mepham made the score 24-21 on Gianni Macchio 42-yard TD catch from William Kender. They attempted an onside kick that went out of bounds.
“We wanted to see if we could compete with Mepham because they were in second place and we played exceptionally well,” coach Jay Iaquinta said. “Our defense has turned a number of interceptions and fumble recoveries into touchdowns. Our kicking game forces teams into bad positions.”
Aidan Mulholland punts for Manhasset (4-2) and left Mepham (4-2) with bad field position all game, according to Iaquinta. His kickoff return gave Manhasset to a 17-7 lead.
“We spend a lot of time during the week working on our returns,” Aidan Mulholland said. “Coach has been telling me to catch the ball, run full speed down the middle, and finally it clicked for me.”
Manhasset had a rough start to the season, losing its first two games by 17 and 15, respectively. The Indians are now on a four-game winning streak and near the top of the conference.
“The win really changes our season,” Aidan Mulholland said. “It’s given us a sense of spirit and pride. Early in the season, we had a team meeting after going 0-2 and since then we’ve reestablished our faith. Here we are beating a No. 2 seed team. We’re going to keep playing hard.”