In a game that consisted of five touchdowns from both sides, it was the specials teams and two key defensive stops that ended up being the difference in the conference one title game that saw Freeport defeat Farmingdale 36-33 to claim their third consecutive Nassau County championship.
With Farmingdale leading 33-28 midway through the fourth quarter, Freeport went on a long 13 play 70 yard drive, which culminated on 5 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Isaiah Barnes to wide receiver Jere Brown on third and goal. The drive ate up 6 and ½ minutes and left Farmingdale with only 2 minutes and 42 seconds to attempt a comeback.
On the ensuing drive, Farmingdale passed for back to back first downs before being faced with a fourth and seven from the Freeport 36. On the fourth down play, Farmingdale quarterback Sal Tuttle was flushed from the pocket and forced back to his own 45. Tuttle was able to elude numerous Freeport tacklers before turning up field towards the first down marker. It looked as if Tuttle would have enough to extend the drive when he was run out of bounds by Freeport, however, with the chains being on the opposite side of the field, it made it difficult to determine. As the chains came out, Farmingdale was a few inches short of the first down. Freeport held on defense and secured the 36-33 victory.
The game was a classic back and forth battle that saw the game tied on three different occasions and three lead changes.
Freeport opened the scoring late in the first quarter when Jere Brown returned a punt 43 yards for a touchdown. Farmingdale answered back with a six play 72 yard drive that ended with Tuttle hitting wide receiver Pat Starke for a 13 yard score.
On the ensuing kickoff, Brown left his mark again, returning the ball 70 yards to the Farmingdale 26. Brown added a stellar 20 yard run on the next play, which set up a 1 yard touchdown by running back Dan Olivier.
After both teams punted, Farmingdale tied the score at 14 when Tuttle hit Brian Prendergast for a 48 yard touchdown.
It took Freeport just six plays to drive 85 yards and find the end zone again, when Barnes hit Brown for a 22 yard touchdown. Brown ended the game with 187 all purpose yards and 3 touchdowns.
Farmingdale tied the game at 21 just before the end of the first half when running back Kevin Wahl scored on a 30 yard touchdown run. Wahl also had a 31 yard reception on the drive.
Farmingdale opened the second half with a seven play 81 yard drive that ended with Tuttle, who was playing one week after slightly separating his shoulder, diving for the pylon on an 11 yard touchdown run. The extra point attempt was missed just wide right and the Farmingdale lead was 27-21.
After both teams punted, Freeport took possession on their own 46 and kept the ball on the ground, driving to the Farmingdale 6 behind Olivier and Maurice Irby, before Barnes connected with Malek Lewis on third and goal for a 6 yard touchdown. The extra point was good and Freeport led 28-27.
Farmingdale answered the score with a four play 71 yard drive that included a 32 yard completion to Prendergast and a 39 yard run by Tuttle, which set up a Kevin Wahl 1 yard touchdown run. Forced to go for two due to the missed extra point, Prendergast caught a pass in the flat and looked as if he would be able to get to the end zone when Freeport defensive back Melech Streeter made a great tackle to deny the conversion.
The two point stop helped set-up Freeport’s game winning touchdown drive and their ensuing hold on defense, which preserved the 3 point victory.
Freeport advances to the Long Island title game, where the will face the winner of the Sachem North vs. Floyd game. Farmingdale finishes the season 8-3.