In a 10-second span, the East and West teams each believed they lost the Eddie Meath All-Star Game.
Ricky Hagins intercepted a pass with 1:30 left for the East and scampered down the sideline.
“I kind of accepted that we fought hard but it was over,” West coach Greg Mortier said.
Suddenly, the ball popped loose and Luch Pietropaolo sprinted in the other direction for the West.
“I was thinking it was a great game but the West wins,” admitted East coach Marc Vitticore.
This game was too good to end with time still on the clock. The tide turned again and the East survived a frenetic finish to defeat the West 9-7 at East Irondequoit Eastridge High School on Sunday.
Will Mahar drilled a 24-yard field goal with 2:44 left and the East closed the game with a defensive stand.
The East scored nine unanswered points after trailing 7-0 in the fourth quarter.
The West took the lead on a 39-yard TD pass from John Iacucci to Akinlowan Robinson.
Quarterback Stephen Morrell of Palmyra-Macedon connected with Clyde-Savannah’s Joe Faniel for a 29-yard touchdown pass with 7:25 remaining, but Mahar’s extra point was blocked by Robinson.
After forcing a three-and-out, Faniel hauled in a screen pass for seven yards to set up Mahar’s field goal.
Mahar — who had missed as many kicks in the game as his entire senior season at McQuaid — hammered the ball through the uprights to give the East a 9-7 lead.
“I was excited and ready,” said Mahar, an All-Greater Rochester pick who will walk on at Boston College. “I was confident in myself and happy to get that last kick.”
Then it appeared the West lost, then won, the game on the ensuing drive. John Iacucci’s pass was deflected and intercepted by Hagins, who darted up the sideline. But Pietropaolo and Iacucci popped the ball loose. Pietropaolo picked it up and weaved 50 yards to the East 20. It appeared he would score before being chased down by Phillip Tack.
Another first down gave the West first-and-goal, but the West missed a field goal on fourth down with 10 seconds left.
“The goal line stand was a lot of heart from the defense,” Vitticore said. “The game felt like November. It felt like a state game and it was great.”
It was the 10th straight victory for the East in the annual senior all-star game that raises money for Golisano Children’s Hospital.
Following one-point losses in 2012 and 2013, the West had victory snatched from it again.