It was the most exciting game of the year for both teams, but in the great rivalry that is New Hyde Park vs. Floral Park, the Gladiators had a 10-point fourth quarter to squeeze out a 27-25 win over the Knights.
The madcap finish to the game came when Brian Hoerter blocked a Floral Park field goal attempt as the clock ran out on the fourth quarter. The contest went into the final frame with Floral Park holding a slim 18-17 margin. The Gladiators bounced back with a nine-yard touchdown run by Steven Chambers and a mighty 41-yard field goal by Christian Carrick.
But the Knights never gave up. With five minutes left, they bounced back with a nine-yard touchdown run by Cole Horan. The Knights’ defense held the line, giving the offense one last chance to win the game. New Hyde Park drove down the field, but the field goal attempt was foiled and the Gladiators won a contest where both teams lived up to their nicknames.
Nick Pelligrino had a sharp game for Floral Park, connecting on four passes for 75 yards. Chambers excelled at both the running game and on the receiving end of Pelligrino’s strikes. Chambers ran for 47 yards on 11 carries, including a 40-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Brian Hoerter ran for 60 yards on six carries and Josh Destin chipped in with 51 rushing yards, including a 16-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
Another star for New Hyde Park was Christian Carrick, who got the Gladiators on the board in the first quarter with a 22-yard field goal, before nailing down his 41-yard attempt in the final frame.
Floral Park was paced by Cole Horan who had two touchdown rushes. Terrence Holland scored on an eight-yard pass from Kyle Hilaire and Liam Flanagan chipped in with a five-yard touchdown score.
This Saturday, these two fine teams will take the field again. New Hyde Park will travel to Glen Cove for a 3 p.m. contest, while Floral Park will entertain Valley Stream North for a 2 p.m. home game. The Floral Park game is the homecoming contest and the perfect time to give these athletes the support they deserve.