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Dineen powers Solvay to dramatic playoff win

Solvay football fans had seen this movie before -- a determined opponent marching into Earl Hadley Stadium and handing the Bearcats a first-round exit from the Section III Class B playoffs.

Holland Patent had done so in 2004, Adirondack a year later. And now, on this warm Friday night in "The Pit", Solvay again was facing Holland Patent in the opening round -- and again was in danger of going out, trailing in the fourth quarter.

Thanks to Jesse Dineen, though, the script would change, as his determined running down the stretch allowed the Bearcats to slip past the Golden Knights 22-21.

Trailing 14-0 early, Solvay had gradually worked its way back into the game, but was still down 21-14 when it took over at its own 31-yard line midway through the fourth quarter.

With its season on the line, the Bearcats began marching, but quickly faced a fourth-down-and-16. Unfazed, Mike Acchione threw downfield -- and Tom Hayes caught it, a 20-yard play.

Solvay had to convert two fourth downs on this 69-yard march, as Jonathan Orioli's short pass to Ben Carl accounted for another saving first down.

Finally, the drive reached HP's seven-yard line, from where Dineen found the end zone for the touchdown that made it 21-20 with 1:29 left.

Dineen now had 168 yards on 20 carries -- but he wasn't done yet.

Without a reliable kicker, Solvay had to go for two. Again, Dineen got the ball, running for the corner of the end zone. Two HP defenders got to Dineen, but he shrugged off the tackles and crossed the goal line.

The Golden Knights still had time to answer, but managed just one first down as Solvay's defense closed out one of the more dramatic wins in the program's storied history.

Part of the drama had to do with events off the field. Earlier in the week, lineman Michael Steves lost his 18-year-old brother, Timothy, whose death remains under investigation. All the Solvay players attended Michael's wake.

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