Yep, that sure lived up to the hype, the advanced billing, the build up.
The Section 9 football season began on Friday with plenty of highlights on a brisk night that felt more like late-October than early-September. Where do we start? In Cornwall, where the Green Dragons hosted Pine Bush in a must-see match-up between defending champions.
The game was closer than the final score indicates: Pine Bush 49, Cornwall 20. The Bushmen put away the perennial Class A power by scoring the last 21 points of the game. It was an impressive performance by the Bushmen.
Dynamic duo Mike Martin and Dylan Eller led the charge for the defending Section 9 Class AA champions. Martin rushed for 172 yards and four touchdowns. Meanwhile, Dyler put up 214 yards and two scores.
Here is a short clip from the game:
Here is what Eller had to say about the big win:
Pine Bush quarterback Dan McNamara also chimed in:
In the loss, Cornwall quarterback Mike White set the Section 9 career touchdowns record. He finished 13-of-31 for 252 yards and two touchdowns. His 55-yard touchdown pass to Chris Bauer broke the record of 52 TDs set by Kingston’s Scott Ricketson from 1996-98.
“I would have much rather done it in a win,’’ White said. “But I’ll take it. Pine Bush is a great team and it’s good to do it against a team like them. I still think it is pretty cool.’’
There were so many more highlights from around Section 9 on Friday night. Here are some:
– Trailing 24-8 in the first quarter, Valley Central came back to defeat Wallkill 42-24 in the annual Battle of the Valley. Nick Pacheco had the game of his life for the Vikings, scoring five touchdowns in his varsity debut. It’s a well-deserved and big win for Valley Central. The Vikings won just one game in each of the last two seasons.
– James I. O’Neill’s Malik Chambers, who may soon be called Jerry Nasi, Part II, rushed for 188 yards and three touchdowns in a wild 33-28 non-league win over Chester.
– Looking for another breakout performance a la Pacheco. OK, check it out. Newburgh running back Natore Dennis ran for 171 yards and two touchdowns in the Goldbacks’ 46-21 win over Iona Prep. Running back Anthony Dubose, who is scheduled to visit Rutgers on Saturday, added 91 yards and three touchdowns.
– Like we all probably expected, new Marlboro quarterback Ryan Cary got the job done under center. In his first game as a signal caller, Cary threw for 190 yards and two touchdowns, and ran for 102 yards and two touchdowns in a 25-0 win over Rondout Valley. The game pitted Rondout Valley quarterback Keith Malak vs. his dad, Jim Malak, a Marlboro assistant.
– Highland, needing to make something happen this year, needing to make a statement, opened the year with a 33-0 win over Dover.
– As it turns out, Martin wasn’t the only player from Pine to rush for four touchdowns on Friday. Burke Catholic’s Matt Przybocki, put up 160 yards and four touchdowns in a 46-6 over Sullivan West. Przybocki lives in the Pine Bush school district.
Check back later this weekend for my Varsity845.com video wrap-up show with more highlights and interviews. Also, pick up the Times Herald-Record on Saturday to read stories about Cornwall-Pine Bush, Wallkill-Valley Central and much more. You can also read the stories on Varsity845.com.