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General Upheaval

Trojans win

OT thriller

on field goal

The reigning Long Island Champion Garden City Trojans narrowly defeated MacArthur Generals 10-7 in overtime on a 32-yard field goal by Gerard Smith. The Trojans erased a 7-0 deficit on a three-yard TD run by QB Brett Stewart with under a minute remaining in the game.  

“The kids fought hard and came back,” said Head Coach Tom Flatley. “We work like heck during the week,” he added.

The Trojan defense was terrific all day, yielding only a third quarter TD from sophomore QB Jimmy Kelleher to Jared Wolfe. It appeared that the game would possibly end with that score.

On the ensuing drive, the Trojans embarked on an extremely long drive that began on their own 26-yard line and totaled 12 plays. Stewart rushed for carries of 4, 5 and 10 yards in addition to connecting with Patrick Finneran for 7 yards. Running back Brian Haeffner rushed for gains of 14 yards and a crucial 17-yard carry. The drive lasted through the end of the third quarter and into the fourth. They did not convert, however, due to an 8-yard loss on a rush, followed by a missed 39-yard field goal attempt.

The Generals followed that with a 12-play drive that featured all rushing attempts. They made a curious decision to go for it on fourth down at the 23-yard line rather than kick a field goal and Kelleher was stopped for no gain.

The Trojans got the ball at the 23 and put together a great drive with the game on the line. There were two huge gains. The first was a 17-yard catch by Finneran that brought the Trojans across mid-field. Then, a 29-yard reception by Matt Borges to put the ball at the 20. After a few modest gain, Stewart rolled out to the left and scored from 3 yards out to put the Trojans on the board. After the extra point, the game was tied and it went to OT.

The Generals had the ball first in OT beginning at the Garden City 20. On fourth down, they lined up for a short 22-yard field goal. It appeared like a simple task, but Borges penetrated the line and blocked the kick.

“That was our base 6-5 formation,” said Flatley. “You just hope to get a push.” Fortunately, they were able to do so. The Trojans capitalized with their opportunity and kicked the game-winning FG to earn the 10-7 victory.[

For the Generals, Carmine Criscione played a tremendous game, rushing for 80 yards, and was able to find holes in the Trojans front seven despite not scoring a TD. Not many opposing running backs are able to consistently beat the Trojans’ defense.

Stewart was forced to take the game into his own hands by running the football. The receivers of Garden City dropped a number of passes which hurt his statistics. In the air he completed 4 of 15 passes for 55 yards.