Wow! What else is there to say? Friday night was one of the biggest in Section 9 history, thanks to two underdogs, James I. O’Neill and Marlboro.
James I. O’Neill defeated Woodlands without too much trouble, 35-18, in the quarterfinals of the Class C state playoffs at Mahopac High School. The Raiders are the first Class C team from Section 9 to win a Class C state playoff game since Highland in 1996. Meanwhile, at Dietz Stadium in Kingston, Marlboro scored an exciting 23-20 overtime win over Our Lady of Lourdes in the Class B state quarterfinals.
Before Marlboro’s magic, no Section 9 team had won a Class B state playoff game since Rondout Valley in 2000. The Ganders won the state championship that year. Combined, O’Neill and Marlboro ended 28 years of losing streaks in Section 9 Class C and B in the state playoffs.
Up next? The sizzling teams’ will play back-to-back at Dietz Stadium in Kingston next Saturday. O’Neill plays Hoosick Falls or Saranac Lake at 11 a.m. and Marlboro faces Glens Falls at 3 p.m. Could Section 9 go 5-for-5 in quarterfinal state playoff games? Hey, you never know. O’Neill and Marlboro were supposed to get ousted.
In the Class D state quarters, Chester plays Tuckahoe at Dietz Stadium on Saturday (3 p.m.), followed by Pine Bush vs. New Rochelle (7 p.m.) in AA. Cornwall plays Somers at 1 p.m. Monday in the Class A quarters at Mahopac.