Two weeks after Lynbrook upset Plainedge with a field goal in the closing seconds of the regular-season finale to earn its way into the Nassau Conference III football playoffs, the Red Devils turned the table on the Owls in last Saturday’s thrilling matchup to open the postseason.
Quarterback Nick Frenger’s 16-yard touchdown pass to Nick Cupolo with seven seconds remaining snapped a tie at 41 and won it for No. 3 Plainedge, which prevailed 54-41 and advanced to the semifinals. The Red Devils (7-2), who scored on each of their first seven possessions, recovered a fumble in the end zone with no time left for the final margin. No. 6 Lynbrook (4-5) pulled even with 1:52 remaining on quarterback Danny Kelly’s fourth touchdown, but with overtime looming a fumble recovery by Joe Bouse put Frenger & Co. back in business 27 yards away from paydirt with a half-minute to go.
“It was a great high school football game and our guys gave everything they had,” Owls head coach Steve LoCicero said. “This is a special group of kids who worked so hard to get to this point. Plainedge was just one possession better today.”
It was the passing game of the Red Devils, who missed a potential game-winning 33-yard field-goal attempt with 45 seconds left, against the ground attack of the Owls, and both offenses were nothing short of prolific. “We knew it was going to take more than 17 [points] to win this one,” said LoCicero, recalling his squad’s 17-14 victory on Oct. 27. “I thought we had the offensive plan and defensive plan, but let’s not forget they’ve got a very good quarterback and coaching staff.”
Frenger, who missed a chunk of the regular season with an injury, completed 19 of 25 attempts for 278 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions. Cupolo had 166 receiving yards and three scores. Kelly, who took the reigns of Lynbrook’s offense in October, had 318 rushing yards behind a starting line of Chris Roepken, Matt Boll, Matt Hennessy, Tim Yale and Brian Burke. Sophomore Dylan Lucas added 131 yards and two scores.