A missed Cold Spring Harbor field goal try from 32 yards in the waning seconds of last Saturday night’s Nassau Conference IV football semifinal kept Malverne’s season alive and led to overtime.
But the Mules’ defense, which allowed just 179 total yards and forced five punts through four quarters, was unable to stop Alex Bauer in OT. Bauer’s 1-yard touchdown run on fourth down and two-point conversion propelled the third-seeded Seahawks to a 15-7 victory at Hofstra’s Shuart Stadium.
No. 2 Malverne had first-and-goal from the Cold Spring Harbor 2-yard line in OT but was snuffed on two rushing attempts by Reagan Reilly and Tim Pisano, respectively, and two passes into the end zone, the last of which ended an emotional roller-coaster season with a record of 7-3.
“At the end of the day, we didn’t jump up and take it,” Mules head coach Kito Lockwood said. “We didn’t execute on offense or defense in overtime and we have to tip our cap to Cold Spring Harbor. They had two first downs and scored and got the two. It’s disappointing.”
The Seahawks advanced to face top-seeded Seaford in the championship game next Saturday at 4 p.m. at Hofstra. Both teams are 9-1. Cold Spring Harbor’s last title came in 2018, while the Vikings’ last crown came in 2019.
Malverne won its first five games this season and was looking to snap a county championship drought dating back to 1991 when Lockwood, then a senior two-way star, & Co. defeated Oyster Bay.
The Mules dominated the first quarter Saturday night and held Cold Spring Harbor to just four total yards on six plays, but they had nothing to show for it. The sting of a fumble at the Seahawks 30 early in the second quarter was minimized by the defense, with Kevin Estime sacking CSH quarterback Sam Bruno to force another punt.
A nice return by Isaiah Jolly who scored three touchdowns in a 41-8 first-round playoff win over East Rockaway, allowed Malverne to begin what would be its lone scoring drive of the game at its own 37. An eight-play mixture of Branden McLaughlin and quarterback Chad Wesley runs, and William Hartley receptions behind a front five consisting of Estime, Fabian Gonzalez, Abdullah Bhutta, Aaron Munoz and K’von Hightower led to the first points of the night — a 13-yard touchdown run by McLaughlin.
Cold Spring Harbor, which defeated Malverne during the regular season, 21-14 on Oct. 13 with Bauer scoring the winning touchdown in the fourth quarter, trailed the rematch 7-0 at halftime but began its second series of the second half in enemy territory and cashed in. Bauer had runs of 3, 4, 7 and lastly 24 yards to account for every inch of the scoring drive that knotted the game.
“Bauer really came through for us as he has all year,” CSH head coach Joe Mendreski said.
The Mules rushed for 216 yards on 43 carries, led by Michael McDougall’s 86 on just eight carries.