The Mineola Mustangs fell to the Roosevelt Rough Riders 41-14 in the Nassau Conference IV title game on Saturday Nov. 22 at Hofstra University’s James Shuart Stadium.
The Rough Riders, who suffered their only loss of the season to Mineola in September, 47-38, were relentless from the very start—scoring the first touchdown on a 63 yard fumble return within the first two minutes, followed by an 89-yard scoring run run.
Sinking the Mustangs further in the second, 27-0, Mineola senior quarterback James Gerstner threw a 22-yard TD pass to senior wide receiver Chris Lockwood, who outfought his defenders in the end zone to make the grab.
Five minutes into the second half, the Mustangs struck again with a two-yard run by Gerstner, giving themselves somewhat of a fighting chance at 27-14.
Two minutes later, Roosevelt fired back with a 15-yard touchdown run, and then a final 50-yard score with 54 seconds before the fourth.
“They just played better than we did tonight,” Mustangs head coach Dan Guido said. “We recovered a fumble but didn’t take advantage of it, they picked one up and ran back, then dropped the ball three of four more times and we never managed to recover it—they didn’t give us as much room to run as we’ve been getting, and that’s a credit to them.”
With the memory of Gerstner rushing for 212 yards and five touchdowns and passing for 229 against the Rough Riders at the beginning of the season, Roosevelt cut Mineola down to 69 rushing yards and 65 passing yards on Saturday.
“Think about all the things we did this year,” Guido said to his team in a huddle after the game. “We came this far, and things like this happen in life—hold your heads up high.”