The season's longest road trip for the Baldwinsville football team just happened to turn into the season's longest game.
Trailing in the fourth quarter against winless Utica Proctor Friday night, the Bees rallied to force overtime, and then survived two extra periods to defeat the Raiders 35-28 and finish the regular season with a 5-2 mark.
By going 3-2 in Class AA-2 division play, B'ville finished third in the league behind Fayetteville-Manlius and Liverpool, and will go on the road again next Saturday for the opening round of the Section III playoffs against Henninger (5-2), a team it beat 10-7 back on Sept. 13.
Proctor, who wasn't going to see any kind of post-season play, treated this contest like it was a playoff game, and nearly upended B'ville, twice gaining leads in the late going.
B'ville led 14-6 at halftime, but the Raiders' Javon Evans broke loose on a 36-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, and passed for two points to tie it 14-14. When Evans scored a third time on a 10-yard run, Proctor gained a 21-14 edge.
Staying calm amid the pressure situation Bees moved the ball to Proctor's 18-yard line, and then saw Brian Mahar dash to the end zone with 6:13 to play. Tom Scarfino made his fourth extra point in as many tries, and B'ville was back even, 21-21.
And that's where it stood at the end of regulation. In the high school overtime format, each team gets a possession on the opponent's 20-yard line. Going first, Proctor turned to Evans, who converted his fourth TD of the night.
Trailing 28-21, B'ville had to have a touchdown, and it pounded away until it reached the Raiders' three-yard line, from where quarterback Gage Blasi scored. Scarfino's fourth PAT kept the game going.
The Bees would go first in the second OT, and from the Raiders' 12, Blasi scrambled to the end zone for the second straight time.
Proctor, needing to answer, instead fumbled the ball, and when Cole Burchill pounced on it, the game was over, B'ville having escaped the Raiders' serious upset bid.
B'ville had gained that 14-6 first-half edge through a pair of TD runs by Cameron Skipworth, who scored on a 22-yard run in the first quarter and found the end zone from 31 yards out late in the second period.
Now Skipworth and the Bees prepare for the Henninger rematch, knowing a win would get them into next weekend’s AA semifinal against Fayetteville-Manlius or Central Square.