NORTHVILLE - After 95 minutes of soccer, the ball never found the back of the net.
Instead, it was accidentally carried over the back line, mere seconds before the clock was going to wind down on a 15-minute overtime.
Northville's Kalob Russell lofted a shot toward the Argyle goal that goalkeeper Del Pryce caught, but he was falling backward as he landed. He turned and when he realized he was over the goal line, tried to throw the ball away as quickly as possible in an attempt to send the game into a second overtime.
Northville’s Nate Edwards kicks the ball away from Argyle’s Elijah Elair during Saturday’s Section II Class D quarterfinal game in Northville. (The Leader-Herald/Mike Zummo)
By then it was too late, as the referees blew the whistle, starting a Northville celebration. Russell was credited with the game-winning goal in Saturday's Section II Class D quarterfinal game.
"We just wanted to put one home and finish this off," Russell said.
The call resulted in an angry outburst from the Argyle players, coaches and fans but the official was in position on the goal line to see the ball crossed.
Class AA Quarterfinals
Bethlehem 3, Ballston Spa 0
Class A Quarterfinals
Mohonasen 1, Scotia 0
Averill Park 2, Albany Academy 1
Troy 3, Queensbury 0
South High 2, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake 1
Class B Quarterfinals
Broadalbin-Perth 5, Chatham 0
Greenville 2, Schalmont 1
Class C Quarterfinals
Lake George 3, Fort Plain 0
Stillwater 3, Greenwich 2
Maple Hill 1, Mekeel Christian 1 (Maple Hill advanced on penalty kicks, 6-5)
Class D Quarterfinals
Northville 1, Argyle 0
"That's the kind of playoff ending you hope for," Northville coach Steve Clapper.
For the first 80 minutes of play, it looked as though the game would end up going the distance, straight to penalty kicks.
Each team only had about two offensive opportunities in the first half of play. Northville had a chance nearly 8 minutes into the game when David Onzo sent in a direct kick from the right side, but Brad VanNostrand's header went wide of the far post. Then about 10 minutes later, Tyler Henderson's shot rolled wide.
In the 25th minute, Argyle's Sidney Da Silva's shot went off the left side netting, resulting in a goal kick and shortly after, Jon Jehring's shot also was wide. Northville goalkeeper Tim Monette stopped a shot by Da Silva shortly before time expired on the first half.
"I think we had seen that Argyle was a very quick team," Clapper said. "We were trying to do too much individually. When the playoffs started, the guys' mindset became, 'I have to be the one to make something happen.' We talked about how it was not going to be one player to win this game. It was going to take all of them working together."
Both teams had opportunities to score, but strong defense from both teams kept the game scoreless.
Argyle's best chance to take the lead came in the 59th minute when Da Silva sent a cross to Colin Brown, who was unable to secure an accurate shot.
In overtime, Lady Luck smiled on the Falcons (9-6-2), who got the win and a date with the eighth-seeded St. Johnsville Saints, who stunned top-seeded Loudonville Christian, 3-2, in an overtime thriller of their own Friday.
The game is scheduled for 3 p.m. Wednesday at Queensbury, but that could be changed due to the distance the two teams would have to travel and their proximity to each other.
"It's going to be a good game, but we're going to win," Russell said.
The Falcons and Saints last met Oct. 3 in Northville, a game the Falcons won 6-0.
"I think it's going to be a lot of fun," Clapper said. "St. Johnsville's a quality team. We've had many battles with them. I think we're coming out ready for that battle and we're ready to step up and make that play, but we know it's not going to be easy and we're ready to step up to that challenge."