Goshen ral­lies to de­feat Sauger­ties in A semi­fi­nal

Goshen ral­lies for win in Class A semi­fi­nal

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By Mike Stribl mstribl@free­manon­line.com @MStribl on Twit­ter

Sauger­ties High's sea­son came to an end, as Goshen ral­lied for 23-19 Sec­tion 9, Class A semi­fi­nal win.

It was a clas­sic Sauger­ties drive. The Sawyers took the sec­ond-half kick­off and con­sumed nine min­utes on a 16-play drive that went 67 yards.

They were stopped, how­ever, on a goal-line stand and had to set­tle for a field goal and a 19-9 lead. That left the door open. And Goshen High quar­ter­back Matt Wierzbicki busted through it.

The se­nior ral­lied his team for two touch­downs in the fourth quar­ter — in­clud­ing a game-win­ning 14-yard pass to Vinny Mag­giori with 47 sec­onds left — as Goshen up­set Sauger­ties 23-19 at Di­etz Sta­dium to earn a spot in the Sec­tion 9, Class A cham­pi­onship game.

“It was a game of mo­men­tum. They took the mo­men­tum,” Sauger­ties coach Dom Zar­rella said. “I think that was the swing. I think if we had punched it in

there, it prob­a­bly would have ended the game.

“But you can’t take any­thing away from them.”

The Sawyers, who were 7-0 two weeks ago, saw its fan­tas­tic sea­son end at 7-2.

The (4-5) Gla­di­a­tors, mean­while, will play five­time de­fend­ing cham­pion Corn­wall for the ti­tle 7 p.m. Fri­day night at Mid­dle­town’s Faller Field. Corn­wall downed Wal­lkill 4220 in its semi­fi­nal.

Wierzbicki ran for 63 yards and one touch­down and threw for 99 yards and two scores. Tail­back Max Suarez ran 20 times for 94 yards to lead Goshen.

Quar­ter­back Matt Bucci ran 13 times for 100 yards and two TDs to lead Sauger­ties, which scored on its first two pos­ses­sions. Bucci swept right be­hind the Jimmy Ball’s block­ing for a 6-yard touch­down, then swept left be­hind him again for a 2-point con­ver­sion and an 8-0 lead mid­way through the first quar­ter.

Max Hein­rich kicked a 32-yard field goal for Goshen, but Bucci im­me­di­ately re­sponded with a 63-yard burst up the mid­dle that made it 16-3 with 1:18 left in the first quar­ter.

The score stayed that way with un­til 31 sec­onds left in the half when the Sawyers chose to run on a fake punt at mid­field. Sauger­ties failed to con­vert and Wierzbicki cap­i­tal­ized with 42- and 15-yard passes to Jake Ku­nis that closed the gap to 16-9 at the half.

“I thought that if we’re con­trol­ling the line of scrim­mage, we’d con­trol the game,” Zar­rella noted. “We made a mis­take right be­fore the half. We should have punted the ball. We gave them life.”

Then came the sec­ond half.

The Sawyers started on their own 31 and drove all the way to the Goshen 2, On third-and-goal, Ball was stuffed for a 2-yard loss. On third down, line­backer Josh Vasquez pur­sued Bucci on a sprint-out and tripped him for a 10yard loss. Seth Van­der­beck then booted a 32-yard field goal that made it a 19-9 game with 3:02 left in the third quar­ter.

“We came out in our power game after the half and we drove down the field,” Zar­rella said. “We didn’t punch it in. We got a field goal for a two-score lead, but we couldn’t gen­er­ate of­fense after that.”

Sauger­ties man­aged only 57 yards and three first downs over the fi­nal 15 min­utes.

“They didn’t make any mis­takes like they made the first time. They turned the ball over a lot the first time,” Zar­rella said about Goshen, which Sauger­ties beat 28-17 in week two. “They did a lot of dif­fer­ent things in this game than in the first game. They have a dy­namic player in num­ber 56 (de­fen­sive end Ryan Ellef­sen). They moved him all around based on our for­ma­tions. It was a nice coach­ing job by them.”

Goshen had the ball at mid­field early in the fourth when Wierzbicki found Ku­nis on a 10-yard pass. He then raced 29 yards for a first-and-goal and scored on a 10-yard run to get the Gla­di­a­tors within 19-16 with 6:14 re­main­ing.

Sens­ing the mo­men­tum slip­ping away, the Sawyers needed an an­swer­ing drive. Goshen had the an­swer, stop­ping them a yard shy on a fourth-and-two at the Gla­di­a­tors 45 with 2:41 to go.

De­fen­sive tackle Bran­don Salmi con­tained Wierzbicki at the line, bring­ing up a third-and-10 at the 14 with 55 sec­onds re­main­ing. Wierzbicki rolled left and hit Mag­giori in the end zone for the TD. Mike Hynes kicked the ex­tra point, tak­ing a ty­ing field goal out of the Sawyers’ equa­tion.

Bucci’s 19-yard kick­off re­turn put Sauger­ties 71 yards from the end zone with 41 sec­onds left. A team that had steam­rolled op­po­nents with its ground game was forced to go to the air. “That’s not our strength,” Zar­rella ad­mit­ted. “It is some­thing we worked on all year.

I do have a quar­ter­back that can de­liver the ball, but pretty much all year we’ve just been able to run the ball.”

After an in­com­ple­tion, Bucci con­nected with Keith Hartrum, but he was tack­led by line­backer Ja­son Pick­er­ing after a 6-yard gain. An­other in­com­ple­tion and it was fourth-and-4 on the 35 with 20 sec­onds left on the clock.

Bucci ran 5 yards for the first down, but his head struck the turf as he was pulled down from be­hind by Ellef­sen.

Ball on the 40. Eleven sec­onds left. No time­outs. And Bucci had to be helped to the bench and se­nior backup Nick Den­nis was now at quar­ter­back. Mag­giori then out­fought a re­ceiver for an in­ter­cep­tion and time ran out.

Zar­rella ad­dressed the team after the game.

“I told them that I was proud of them. I’ve been with a lot of them since the sev­enth grade. We turned around foot­ball in this town and you can’t hang your heads. 7-2 is a sea­son that we haven’t had in 20 years in Sauger­ties. I know you care and I care.

I don’t want you to be down. I just want you to be proud of what you’ve acom­plished this year.”

The town put on a pre­post­sea­son ban­quet for the team Thurs­day night with 250 peo­ple at­tend­ing.

“It was a great sea­son,” Zar­rella said. “It was re­ally a spe­cial year for us. To see the whole town turn out for us they way they did was great.” Goshen Sauger­ties First Quar­ter S—Bucci 6 run (Bucci run) G—FG Hein­rich 32 S—Bucci 63 run (Hin­des pass from Bucci) Sec­ond Quar­ter G—Ku­nis 15 pass from Wierzbicki (kick blocked) Third Quar­ter S—FG Van­der­beck 32 Fourth Quar­ter G—Wierzbicki 10 run (Hynes kick) G—Mag­giori 14 pass from Wierzbicki (Hynes kick) —— Rush­ing G—Suarez 20-94, Wierzbicki 20-94, Soto 1-8; S—Bucci 13-100, Hin­des 9-47, Ball 11-40, Trin­cellito 9-36, Den­nis 3-8, Van­der­beck 1-2. Pass­ing G—Wierzbicki 7-14-0, 99 yards; S—Bucci 4-7-0, 25 yards, Den­nis 0-1-1. Re­ceiv­ing G—Ku­nis 4-68, Suarez 2-17, Mag­giori 1-14; S—K. Hartrum 1-12, Z. Hartrum 1-7, Trin­cellito 1-6. Team records: Goshen 4-5; Sauger­ties 7-2. 3 6 0 14—23 16 0 3 0—19 No. 2 New Paltz vs. No. 4 Marl­boro at Di­etz Sta­dium, 7 p.m. —— CLASS C Semi­fi­nals Oct. 29 Burke Catholic 59, Sul­li­van West 20 Mill­brook 36, Ch­ester 22 Cham­pi­onship Nov. 5 No. 1 Burke vs. No. 3 Mill­brook at Mid­dle­town, 7 p.m. —— CLASS D Roscoe/Liv­ingston Manor/Downsville de­clared cham­pion. —— Semi­fi­nals Oct. 28 Mon­roe-Wood­bury 3, Wash­ing­tonville 0 War­wick 5, Min­isink 5 Fi­nals Nov. 1 No. 1Mon­roe-Wood­bury vs. No. 2 War­wick at Mid­dle­town, 4 p.m. —— Class A Quar­ter­fi­nals Oct. 24 Goshen 3, New Paltz 1 Semi­fi­nals Oct. 26 Goshen 3, Wal­lkill 2, OT Red Hook 2, Corn­wall 1 (3-2 shootout) Fi­nals Oct. 28 Goshen 2, Red Hook 1 —— Class B First round Oct. 21 Dover 3, High­land 0 Quar­ter­fi­nals Oct. 25 Spack­enkill 6, Dover 0 El­lenville 1, Lib­erty 0 Rhinebeck 4, Marl­boro 2 James I. O’Neill 1, Burke Catholic 0 Semi­fi­nals Oct. 28 Spack­enkill 3, El­lenville 1 Rhinebeck 2, O’Neill 0

Semi­fi­nals Nov. 3 Mon­roe-Wood­bury-War­wick win­ner at Min­isink Valle, 6 p.m. Mid­dle­town-Pine Bush win­ner vs. Roo­sevelt-Kingston win­ner at high­est re­main­ing seed, 6 p.m. Fi­nals Nov. 6 Semi­fi­nal win­ners at Mount Saint Mary Col­lege, noon —— No. 1 Corn­wall, bye No. 2Sauger­ties, bye No. 3 Wal­lkill, bye No. 5 Port Jervis at No. 4 Goshen, 6 p.m. Semi­fi­nals Nov. 3 Port Jervis-Goshen win­ner at Corn­wall, 6 p.m. Wal­lkill at Sauger­ties, 6p.m. Fi­nals Nov. 6 Semi­fi­nal win­ners at Mount Saint Mary Col­lege, 6 p.m. —— Class B Quar­ter­fi­nals Nov. 2 No. 1 Ron­d­out Val­ley, bye No. 2 John S. Burke, bye No. 5 New Paltz at No. 4 Red Hook, 6 p.m. No. 6 Spack­enkill at No. 3 James I. O’Neill, 6 p.m. Semi­fi­nals Nov. 4 New Paltz-Red Hook win­ner at Ron­d­out, 6 p.m. Spack­enkill-O’Neill win­ner at Burke, 6 p.m. Fi­nals Nov. 6 Semi­fi­nal win­ners at Mount Saint Mary Col­lege, 2 p.m. —— Class C Quar­ter­fi­nals Nov. 2

FREE­MAN FILE PHOTO

Sauger­ties quar­ter­back Matt Bucci rushed for 100 yards and two touch­downs in Sawyers’ loss in Sec­tion 9, Class B semi­fi­nal.

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