Farmingdale's defense shines in semifinal win
Matt Sinatro, a 6-foot, 275-pound defensive tackle, turned out to be a key offensive weapon for Farmingdale.
On a second-and-15 from the Massapequa 7, Sinatro burst through the middle to sack Paul Bentz in the end zone for the go-ahead points, and the Dalers turned a late interception into a game-clinching touchdown run by Kevin Petit-Frere in a gritty 12-9 victory Thursday night in a Nassau I semifinal at Hofstra.
No. 1 seed Farmingdale (9-1) will face No. 4 Baldwin next Friday in the Nassau I final.
No. 5 Massapequa (6-4) scored a touchdown on the last play of the game -- a 39-yard pass from Bentz to Mike Masiello.
After Sinatro's sack-safety, the Dalers had a chance to score on a fourth-and-1 from the Massapequa 13. But Curtis Jenkins was stopped on a direct snap and the Chiefs took over with 2:50 left.
A field goal would win it, and Craig Berge has the range, but he never got the chance. On the Chiefs' second play of the drive, Xavier Sanabria intercepted a tipped pass and returned it to the Massapequa 24. Petit-Frere broke through the left side on the very next play to score the clincher.
Before the final window-dressing drive, Farmingdale had held Massapequa to 154 yards of offense, 70 of them on the first drive of the game.
It was quite a contrast from the first game of the semifinal doubleheader, won by Baldwin, 67-27. Points and scoring opportunities were scarce as both defenses dominated in the second game.
Massapequa had the only sustained drive of the half. On its first possession, Massapequa marched 70 yards in 11 plays, chewing up 5:09 on the clock. The big play was the first one, a 42-yard burst outside by Kevin Wasson. A 3-yard run on fourth-and-1 by Paul Dilena kept the drive alive, but a middle screen from Bentz to Nick Balzano fell short on third down and the Chiefs settled for a 35-yard field goal by Berge for a 3-0 lead with 3:41 left in the first quarter.
Farmingdale showed some flash in the second quarter when Joe Valente hooked up with Petit-Frere on a screen pass that covered 38 yards. The screen pass is an important part of the Dalers' offensive arsenal and Massapequa was ready the next time.
On fourth-and-4 from the Chiefs' 21, Valente tried an inside screen to Tom Kennedy, but it was diagnosed quickly by Wasson, who made the tackle for a drive-ending 3-yard loss.
However, the Dalers were able to take advantage of good field position after a punt at the Massapequa 48. Three 11-yard runs on keepers by Valente brought Farmingdale to the Chiefs' 13, and Zach Kolodny's 30-yard field goal made it 3-3.