New Paltz poised for re­gional con­test

Sec­tion 1 cham­pion Pleas­antville tough ob­sta­cle for Hu­gies

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

A quar­ter­back that can run and has a good group of re­ceivers. A team with size on the of­fen­sive and de­fen­sive lines.

That de­scribes New Paltz High’s foot­ball team.

It also de­scribes Sec­tion 1 cham­pion Pleas­antville, the Huguenots’ op­po­nent in to­day’s 7 p.m. Class B re­gional semi­fi­nal matchup at Di­etz Sta­dium.

The first-round game of the state tour­na­ment is one of three con­tests at Di­etz this week­end. On Satur­day, Roscoe will play host to Sec­tion 1’s Hal­dane in a Class D game at 3 p.m. That will be fol­lowed at 7 with a Class AA show­down be­tween New­burgh Free Academy and Troy of Sec­tion 2.

Ad­mis­sion is $9 for adults and $5 for stu­dents. Only State Passes will be ac­cepted. Sec­tion 9, 1 and 2 Passes and also Sec­tion 9 Gold Cards will not be hon­ored.

The win­ner plays in a re­gional fi­nal (state semi­fi­nal) 3 p.m. Nov. 19 at Di­etz. Glens Falls and Peru play 5 p.m. Satur­day at Schuylerville to earn a spot in that game.

New Paltz is 8-1 af­ter end­ing Marl­boro’s five-year ti­tle reign with a 33-17 tri­umph for the Sec­tion 9 cham­pi­onship. It’s the first sec­tional crown for the Huguenots in six years.

Pleas­antville is un­de­feated at 10-0 and ranked sixth in the lat­est New York State Sportswrit­ers As­so­ci­a­tion poll af­ter hold­ing off de­fend­ing champ West­lake 28-21 for its sec­tion ti­tle.

The Huguenots are ranked 12th in the NYSSWA poll.

Jimmy Ver­ney led the Hu­gies over Marl­boro by pass­ing for 237 yards and three touch­downs and run­ning for 129 and one TD. Ku­mar Singh, Joey DiMarco and Chris­tian Burda all caught TD passes.

“We’ve been play­ing to­gether for a long time,” said Ver­ney, who also plays de­fen­sive back. “Our whole start­ing de­fense with the ex­cep­tion of Guy (Soumah) has played to­gether since we were eight or nine years old.

“And Guy is just an­other as­set to the team.”

New Paltz, led by the 6-foot-2, 240-pound Soumah at end and speedy strong safety DiMarco,

did a ter­rific job de­fen­sively against Marl­boro. It forced four turnovers and had sacks by Burda and mid­dle line­backer Brian Ken­ney.

The Hu­gies es­tab­lished things early by seal­ing off the ends to take away Marl­boro’s sweep and pitch runs.

The Panthers are led by sopho­more quar­ter­back Jack Howe, who threw two first-quar­ter touch­down passes to put his team ahead against West­lake. The back­field fea­tures Char­lie McPhee and De­clan McDer­mott. McPhee ran for 101 yards on 20 car­ries and McDer­mott had a pair of big third-down car­ries to clinch the sec­tion ti­tle.

McPhee and ju­nior mid­dle line­backer Nicholas Salzarulo led the Pleas­antville de­fense. A dis­rup­tive force on the line is 6-6 tackle Tim Driscoll. Teams might bring him down, but he can still trip up run­ners with his long arms.

An­other tall player for the Panthers is tackle Will Fraw­ley.

West­lake scored 56 points in two games ver­sus

Pleas­antville. The Panthers al­lowed just 13 points in their other con­tests all sea­son.

New Paltz’s only loss (146) was to John S. Burke Catholic in week four. A con­tribut­ing fac­tor was an in­jury to se­nior right guard Chris Ben­dell the week be­fore at Mill­brook and the team was still work­ing out the kinks of a re­vised of­fen­sive line.

“We stubbed our toe with a big in­jury at Burke and since that mo­ment we’ve just been mov­ing for­ward day by day and they’ve just had a great at­ti­tude,” Hu­gies coach Tom Tegeler said. “Fill­ing his shoes for the next week, we re­ally didn’t have a plan and it kind of hurt us.”

New Paltz’s re­vamped line fea­tures se­nior Phil Dor­man at cen­ter, ju­nior Isaac Savel­son at left tackle, sopho­more Tanner John­son at left guard, 6-3 305-pound ju­nior Max Lu­nati at right guard and Soumah at right tackle.

“We moved Max from the left side and a young JV kid (John­son) to play left guard and we’ve kind of

been go­ing since,” Tegeler said. “We were search­ing that day.

“The line’s dom­i­nant. Jimmy makes it look easy. We can pass. We can run the ball. I’ve al­ways said it’s hard to stop a quar­ter­back run­ning and the run­ning back run­ning and also be able to throw the ball a lit­tle bit.

“It’s tough and that’s why we’re able to put up 33 points a game.”

New Paltz is cur­rently av­er­ag­ing 37.3 points per con­test and al­low­ing just 11.9, thanks to game plans devised by of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Scott Rick­et­son and de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Sam Phelps.

“We can do a lot of dif­fer­ent things. It’s coach Rick­et­son. It’s coach Phelps. It’s ev­ery­thing,” Tegeler said. “It’s a cliche, but it’s a team ef­fort from top to bot­tom. I take pride in that we’ve been do­ing this for 16 years and it’s a his­tory of win­ning. We don’t al­ways win the sec­tion ti­tle, but we’re al­ways in the play­off. We grind it out at New Paltz and they’re good kids.

“We re­ally, re­ally are do­ing a lot of things right.”

TA­NIA BARRICKLO — DAILY FREE­MAN

Quar­ter­back Jimmy Ver­ney leads New Paltz into tonight’s Class B re­gional con­test against Pleas­antville at Di­etz Sta­dium.

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