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Fair,77°
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Baldwin scores big win over Oceanside
Bruins set Nassau single-game points mark in semifinal
Kathy Leistner/Herald
Jovaun Tomlinson had 160 yards and three touchdowns for Baldwin.

Baldwin senior running backs Jovaun Tomlinson and Trayvon Mask were nearly unstoppable when the Bruins squared off with Oceanside during the regular season, combining for 310 yards rushing and three touchdowns in a seven-point win. In the Nov. 15 rematch in the Nassau Conference I football semifinals at Hofstra’s Shuart Stadium, Baldwin senior receiver Travais Hylton became a key component of the offense, and the defense flexed even more muscle than the first time around, leading to a record-setting performance in a 67-27 win.

The teams traded big-play scoring punches for most of a first half that featured 540 total yards and eight touchdowns, including five covering at least 31 yards, but the third-seeded Bruins (8-2) started to tilt the field in their favor when Hylton ripped off the last of his three touchdowns of at least 38 yards — an 89-yard kickoff return — in the second quarter. The scoring run seemed to give Baldwin a boost, as its defense allowed just one more touchdown over the final 32 minutes.

“Our defense played their game and did what it had to do,” Baldwin head coach Steve Carroll said of a second-half effort that limited the No. 2 Sailors (8-2) to just 146 yards and six points and forced three turnovers. “They are a good football team. You can’t stop Oceanside, you just have to outscore Oceanside,” he added.

Baldwin, which set a county record for points in a playoff game and also scored eight of the game’s final nine touchdowns, advanced to the Conference I title game for the first time since 2007 and will battle top-seeded Farmingdale at Hofstra this Friday at Noon. The Dalers won their last championship battle, 21-14, and also won the regular season matchup on Sept. 14, 21-6.

Hylton provided instant spark against the Sailors with his three long touchdowns, the first a 55-yard catch from senior running back Johnathon Robinson on a reverse halfback pass, and the second on a short screen pass that he took 38 yards to the end zone. “That’s the hardest catch to make,” Hylton said of the pass from Robinson, with no defender within 10 yards of him. “You’ve just got to see the ball coming [into your hands].”

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