Announcer Ray Barrett said it best when he called the game, “a seesaw battle.” This past Friday on Senior Night, the Manhasset Indians played the New Hyde Park Gladiators, looking to improve their 3-3 record.
The Gladiators received the ball first and scored a touchdown but the Indians responded quickly. Timmy Barrett threw a 36-yard pass to Peter Lapina to bring the ball across the 50 yard line. Followed up by a first down, the ball was on the 14 yard line when Barrett ran up the middle for a touchdown to tie the game at 7.
The second quarter opened up with a touchdown pass by the Gladiators to give New Hyde Park the lead. Manhasset, looking to respond, had the ball on the opposing 25-yard line, third and long, when Ahmad Crowell made an amazing catch on a 53-yard pass from Barrett. With the ball brought to scoring position by Aidan Mulholland, Barrett scored again on a quarterback keeper and the score was tied at 14.
The Gladiators took the lead again off a 78-yard touchdown pass, however, Aidan Cole blocked the extra point attempt. Manhasset was forced to punt on their next drive, but a strong stop by the defense got the ball back with under two minutes left in the half.
Mulholland ran the ball for 47 yards to put the Indians in scoring position and Barrett came through with a 34 yard touchdown pass to Crowell. Another successful kick by Alex Papadakos would give the Indians the lead, 21 to 20.
Late in the third quarter, after successful stops by both teams, a 55-yard pass to Mulholland for a touchdown extended the Indians lead, 28 to 20, going into the fourth quarter.
The Gladiators started the quarter off strong with a touchdown, but a fumble on a failed two-point conversion recovered by Dylan Shelley left Manhasset with a two point lead.
On the next drive, on a third and thirteen, Barrett threw a 37 yard pass to Crowell that was followed by a Marc Psyllos run up the middle for a touchdown, 35-26.
The Indians led 35-32, when they were forced to punt. However, a fumble by the receiver was recovered by Aidan Cole with under two minutes left. This set up another touchdown by Mulholland on a four-yard run.
The final score was 41-32, Manhasset was strong across the board. Head coach, Jay Iaquinta, spoke of Barrett’s incredible passing game, “He’s outstanding, he worked hard in the offseason and all of that handwork paid off tonight.”
The defense came up big with tackles made by Stefano Troia, Blaze Conlan, Erik Shefcik, Psyllos, Shelley and the Cole brothers.
“The key to tonight’s win was staying determined and keeping our composure in an intense game,” commented Iaquinta. The Indian’s spirits are high as they head into their last regular season game this Saturday against Garden City.