New Paltz bows in state re­gion­als

Pan­thers prove to be over­pow­er­ing in sec­ond half as they end Huguenots’ sea­son

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

It def­i­nitely looked like New Paltz High’s foot­ball team would have the mo­men­tum head­ing into the sec­ond half Fri­day night af­ter ral­ly­ing to get within 22-20 at half­time of its state Class B quar­ter­fi­nal game.

The fi­nal two quar­ters, how­ever, be­longed to Sec­tion 1’s Pleasantville.

New Paltz, fresh off win­ning its first Sec­tion 9 ti­tle in six years, had its ter­rific sea­son end at Di­etz Sta­dium as Pleasantville scored 34 unan­swered points in the sec­ond half to win, 56-20.

The un­de­feated (11-0) Pan­thers are back at Di­etz next Satur­day to play ei­ther Glens Falls or Peru in the state semi­fi­nals.

New Paltz had just fallen be­hind, 22-13, with 38 sec­onds left in the half. Joey DiMarco an­swered with a 70-yard kick­off re­turn for a touch­down and the Huguenots went into the locker room down only two and know­ing they would get the sec­ond-half kick­off.

That next drive stalled at mid­field and, af­ter an ex­change of punts, the Hu­gies had the ball on their on own 14. On the next play, line­backer Ian Es­liker sacked and stripped the ball from New Paltz quar­ter­back Jimmy Ver­ney, de­fen­sive end Cullen Dell scooped it up at the 2 and strode into the end zone for a cru­cial TD.

Af­ter that, the Pan­thers had all the mo­men­tum. They stopped New Paltz three times on fourth

down in the fi­nal two quar­ters and scored on their fi­nal four pos­ses­sions to put the game out of reach.

“We felt we played a great half. We were ex­cited in the locker room,” Huguenots coach Tom Tegeler said.

“Once we gave the scoop-and-score for them, you could see it. I was like, ‘Oh, God. An­other one of these.’ We missed a big block on the blitz and it turned into points for them. Then it was too much to over­come.

“That kind of took the mo­men­tum away. We were hang­ing with them through the first half. I thought it was a great first half of foot­ball.”

De­clan McDermott rushed for 109 yards and one touch­down, had a TD catch and also threw an half­back op­tion pass for an­other score. Char­lie McPhee rushed for 103 yards and two TDs and Jack Howe com­pleted 11-of-16 passes for 122 yards to lead Pleasantville.

Hunter McVea ran for 123 yards and one touch­down, Ver­ney ran for 101 yards and Joey DiMarco caught a TD pass to go along with his kick­off re­turn to guide (82) New Paltz. Ver­ney also made an in­ter­cep­tion.

In front of a large New Paltz con­tin­gent that in­cluded former Huguenot great and now FOX an­a­lyst Charles Davis (in New York to broad­cast Sun­day’s Los

An­ge­les Rams at Jets game), the Hu­gies held their own in a first-half shootout.

McPhee’s one-handed 31yard tightrope catch along the Pan­thers side­line set up Ryan Dril­lock’s 3-yard TD run to give Plas­antville the early lead.

New Paltz, though, scored on its first two of­fen­sive plays. McVea scored on a 60-yard run, then DiMarco turned Ver­ney’s screen pass into a 50-yard TD to put the Hu­gies up 13-7 mid­way through the first quar­ter.

The Pan­thers re­gained the lead on Howe’s 13-yard pass to Der­mott early in the sec­ond quar­ter and had widened the mar­gin to 20-7 on McPhee’s 1-yard plunge just be­fore the half.

New Paltz, stopped on fourth down at the Pan­ther 24 and 35 in the first half, were de­nied again at the 30 late in the third quar­ter. McDermott raced 70 yards on the next play for a touch­down.

Kenny Ver­ney’s 36-yard kick­off re­turn had the Hu­gies back in Pleasantville ter­ri­tory, but they were stopped this time on the 27. McPhee soon broke free for a 44-yard TD run and a 4620 ad­van­tage.

A DiMarco 37-yard re­turn had New Paltz again across mid­field, but McPhee lev­eled McVea on fourth down at the 37. Soon af­ter, McDermott hit a wide

open Brian Reda with the 48-yard half­back pass and an­other score.

“We tried to slow the pace of the game down but, so many points were be­ing scored, we had to speed up and we were just shot,” Tegeler said. “They were good on de­fense and they sent a lot of peo­ple.”

The Hu­gies fum­bled on the next drive and Es­liker cashed it in with a 71-yard TD run.

Pleasantville fin­ished with 301 yards rush­ing. New Paltz ran for 265 yards.

“I’m proud of the kids. They played an ex­cel­lent sea­son, an ex­cel­lent first half,” Tegeler said. “They did ev­ery­thing right for the most part un­til the end.”

New Paltz will lose 11 se­niors, but re­turn a solid core of young, tal­ented play­ers.

“We got a lot com­ing back,” Tegeler said. “We’ll bounce back. We’ll be fine.”

In Tegeler’s 16 years, New Paltz has made the sec­tion fi­nals eight times, won four ti­tles and also lost each time in the state tour­na­ment.

“If we want to jump over that hump, we got to bury our­selves in the weight room,” he re­marked. “I think this year a lot of kids, six or seven, lifted pretty hard. Over­all, we got to get stronger as a pro­gram. Every­time we come against Sec­tion 1, they’re more phys­i­cally fit. That was the mes­sage to my play­ers. A

great year for the se­niors, but we need to re­ally fo­cus if we want to take the next step. To get into the sec­tional play­offs is not the goal any­more.”


New Paltz quar­ter­back Jimmy Ver­ney keeps the ball on a run dur­ing Fri­day night’s game at Di­etz Sta­dium.

New Paltz Joseph DiMarco looks to break free on a carry.

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