Written by Philip M. LoNigro Friday, 20 November 2009 00:00
The Farmingdale Dalers took on the Syosset Braves last Saturday night at Hofstra Stadium in the Nassau County Conference 1 semifinals. The Dalers started out losing the coin toss, but receiving the ball first against the wind during the nor’easter storm. If Syosset could use the wind to pin the Dalers deep in their zone and score first, this could be a huge advantage to control the game. But the Dalers had a different game plan.
The Dalers did have some trouble moving the ball, but with some great punts by Keith Hadnagy, the Braves did not get the field possession they were expecting. On one drive, Syosset was moving the ball downfield, but Brian Prendergast intercepted the ball to stop that drive. At the end of the first quarter it was 0-0. This was a plus for the Dalers. Even though they didn’t score, they did not allow the Braves to score. This was big.
In the second quarter, Dalers QB Sal Tuttle went down with a shoulder injury. He did not return to the game. So, the Dalers used a few others to fill Tuttles’ shoes. With 6:17 left in the first half running back Kevin Wahl would have a 53- yard run for a touchdown to give the Dalers the lead 6-0. The Dalers defense would stop the Braves again. On the Dalers next possession Wahl would have another large run, this time 36- yards to set up a 19- yard field goal by Keith Hadnagy. Dalers now lead 9-0. With the Braves now going against the wind and the Dalers kicker with the wind, the Dalers would pin the Braves deep in their zone. So, Syosset was forced to punt and Brian Prendergast would have a 48- yard punt return for a touchdown to make it 16-0 Dalers going into halftime.
In the third quarter the Dalers would stop the Braves on their opening drive and put together a nine-minute drive of their own. What Daler would have a 17-yard pass completion, a 12-yard reception and a 23-yard run to set up a 3-yard touchdown run for Kevin Wahl? Yes, Brian Prendergast. Dalers were now up 23-0.
In the fourth quarter Syosset would put together a drive with a few penalties from the Dalers. A 3-yard run and a 2 point conversion would make the score 23-8. But the Dalers offense would come right back with a 58-yard run by who? Yep, Brian Prendergast. Then Carmine Demieri would finish off the drive with a rushing touchdown to put the Dalers up 29-8.
Don’t get me wrong; this was not a one-man show. It was a solid team effort by the offense, defense, kicking teams, and coaching. Brian Prendergast had a great game, but he needed his teammates to do so. The defense did a great job applying pressure on Syosset’s QB.
With this win, the Dalers (8-2) will play the top seeded Freeport Red Devils on Saturday, Nov. 21 at 8:30 p.m. at Hofstra for the Nassau County Conference 1 Championship. The winner of this game would play the winner of the Suffolk title game Sachem North vs. Floyd on Sunday, Nov. 28 at 4:30 p.m. at SUNY Stony Brook for the Long Island Conference 1 Championship Game.