Late Penalties Cost Lynbrook a Win vs. Manhasset



Owls and Indians face off before a snap

The Owls came into Manhasset with the goal of ruining a homecoming celebration–and while it looked that way for most of the game, Manhasset had a different plan. Blunders by the Special Teams and the Offense cost Lynbrook both the lead and their game-winning drive down the field, allowing Manhasset to hold on for the final four minutes of the game. 

This was not a high-scoring contest, as the only action came in the second and fourth quarters. A costly turnover from Manhasset in the redzone allowed Lynbrook to get on the board first with a Michael Fagen run into the endzone. On the very next play, Manhasset took a kick-return into their endzone to cancel out Lynbrook’s touchdown. However, senior Ramone Calderone stopped the two-point attempt with a tackle for loss. 

With no action in the third quarter, all the attention was left in the fourth. The final quarter of the play was headed with a 7-6 game, and Lynbrook had freshly punted the ball. The problem was that the punt did not go far, giving Manhasset the field position to take the lead. A QB sneak into the endzone gave Lynbrook one final chance to win the game with under four minutes remaining. 

The drive started off fast. A great kick-return gave Lynbrook room to work, and it looked like Lynbrook would drive down the field and score. Unfortunately, flags started getting called. A holding penalty paired with unsportsmanlike conduct took away a great run from Fagen. But these penalties did not stop Lynbrook from giving Manhasset a run for their money. Run plays from seniors Fagen and Chris Benson gave Lynbrook a great chance at tying the game with only two downs left. Yet Lynbrook did not gain any yards on third, leading to an incomplete pass to turn the ball over on downs and lose the game. 

Big penalties would lead to the loss for Lynbrook. “We need to execute in all three phases of the game: offense, defense, and special teams. We did not do that,” said Coach David Yaker when asked about the game. “We had two huge mistakes on special teams and could not capitalize on big offensive drives.” 

Without the penalties late in the game, Lynbrook might have won. Yaker explained, “We have to remain more disciplined in the big spots of these games. We were set back almost 30 yards on the final drive, and when you look at where we ended at the 19-yard line, it is a big deal.” 

Lynbrook will try to get back into the win column on Saturday, when they will face off with Carey High School, a top-seeded team in Division III, on home turf. According to Yaker, “We are still finding our identity as a team, so we are watching film, practicing hard, and reading our scouting reports. If we continue to work hard and improve each week, I am confident we will meet the success we want.”