The Massapequa/Farmingdale game has a kind of next door quality for two teams separated by fewer than five miles on the ground and a handful of points in the power rankings. Saturday afternoon, the Chiefs, looking for homefield advantage in the playoffs, came knocking. But the Dalers' defense, looking for the one seed, was hardly feeling hospitable.
A big sack by Matt Dittmeier stopped Massapequa on the 12-yard line and the Dalers went on to score what would prove to be the go-ahead TD on Curtis Jenkins' 74-yard dash on the ensuing drive, as Farmingdale beat the visiting Chiefs, 21-14, in Nassau I.
"We're mature defensively, and when you're mature defensively, people can get stuff on you," Farmingdale coach Buddy Krumenacker said. "They get yardage and you live to tell about it."
The defeat came at a great cost to Massapequa, which also lost standout runningback/defensive back Jack Korber to a wrist injury in the second quarter. Korber left the field screaming that he had broken his wrist, but coach Kevin Shippos couldn't confirm that injury after the game or disclose if his player would be available for the first round of the playoffs next week.
Korber showed his worth with 5:06 left in the first quarter, snagging Paul Bentz's 27-yard pass over the middle for the game's opening score. Farmingdale (7-1) tied it on Joe Valente's jailbreak screen to Tom Kennedy, who broke free up the middle, squirmed through a few tacklers and tripped his way into the end zone. Jenkins' 17-yard gain out of the Wildcat and an 11-yard rush by Kevin Petit-Frere on a toss play set up the score.
"I pump-faked and they bit on it," Valente said. "[Kennedy] was coming across the middle and I just dumped it off to him. He did the rest."
With the game tied at 7 in the third, the Chiefs (5-3) squandered a seven-minute drive on costly holding and illegal motion penalties, setting up Farmingdale's second score. A 25-yard run up the left side by Petit-Frere and Valente's 24-yard QB draw (with an assist from a Kennedy block downfield) helped bring the Dalers to the 20. Petit-Frere took it home with a 20-yard scamper up the right side eight seconds into the fourth.
"They scored quick but we took our time," Petit-Frere said. "We took control and our defense took it easy and we punched it back in."
Massapequa threatened to tie the game on its next drive, but Dittmeier's fourth-and-6 sack on the Dalers' 12 turned the ball over on downs. Three plays later, Jenkins (14 carries, 144 yards) burst through a hole up the middle for the 74-yard score and the 21-7 lead with 6:03 left.
Bentz drew the Chiefs to within seven on his 12-yard TD pass to Craig Berge in the end zone with 1:52 left, but Farmingdale's Xavier Sanabria recovered the onside kick to snuff out the threat. Bentz finished 16-for-21 with 224 yards.
"Just the fact that it's the Farmingdale/Massapequa game speaks for itself, regardless of what's on the line," Krumenacker said. "To have the one-seed on the line just made it bigger."