New Paltz vs. Marlboro almost has an Army-Navy feel to it. Of course, the rivalry isn’t as big as the yearly service academy showdown.
However, the mentality is similar.
At New Paltz, it’s beat Marlboro.
At Marlboro, it’s beat New Paltz.
Marlboro hosts New Paltz in a Section 9 Class B showdown at 7 p.m. Friday. Of course, Highland hopes to make some noise in Class B this fall. For now, the division belongs to Marlboro and New Paltz, with Spackenkill – the Class B runner-up the past two seasons – falling on hard times.
“Both teams are good,” said Marlboro quarterback Ryan Cary, coming off rushing for 301 yards and four touchdowns in a 61-14 win over Dover last week. “It’s definitely going to be hard hitting. It’s going to be fun to play under the lights and see what it brings.”
New Paltz defeated Marlboro 13-0 for the 2010 Class B title. Since then, it’s been all Marlboro in Class B. The Iron Dukes are the two-time defending Class B champions. During that run, Marlboro beat New Paltz 28-7 and 34-12 in two regular-season match-ups.
Here is what New Paltz running back/defensive back Khariff LaBoy had to say about the latest showdown with Marlboro:
LaBoy has, perhaps, been the most dangerous two-way threat in Section 9 through two games. He already has 230 rushing yards, seven all-purpose touchdowns and three interceptions, including one that was a pick six. Of course, Marlboro also has some firepower to go along with Cary, making his debut under center this fall.
In previous years, Cary, a three-year starter, played running back, wide receiver and defensive back. In the backfield for Marlboro is running back Marsallis Faircloth, who put up 262 yards and five touchdowns in the Dover demolition.
It should be some game on Friday in Marlboro.
Five keys to Marlboro-New Paltz
1. Marlboro must contain LaBoy: Of course, Marlboro does. But it’s easier said than done. LaBoy is looking for a big game and, if he goes off, New Paltz could be in business.
2. New Paltz must have a Plan B: Maybe LaBoy carries New Paltz, but he can’t be relied on to do all the heavy lifting. And what if, gasp, Marlboro can contain him? Someone else needs to step up for New Paltz – no matter what type of game LaBoy has. New Paltz running back Nick DiMarco (115 yards, one touchdown) certainly could provide another answer for New Paltz.
3. The Faircloth Factor: Last week against served as Faircloth’s coming out party. He transferred back to Marlboro this season from Xavier in New York City. But how good is he? He looks pretty darn good. New Paltz is another stage for Faircloth to show us all what he’s about.
4. The battle of the defenses: Marlboro has allowed 14 points this season and New Paltz 13. Of course, each side hasn’t seen an offense such as this. Marlboro junior linebacker Sam Galage already has 26 tackles for Marlboro and Ryan Greaven, another linebacker, has 21. LaBoy is a factor on defense, but Cary likely won’t throw his way too much. New Paltz linebacker Deron Dixon has 35 tackles.
5. The quarterback situation: Cary is going to be Cary, a big-time player, who likes the big spot. But this is first time as the man, so to speak. Odds are he handles the showdown, no problem. Meanwhile, New Paltz quarterback Harrison Zraly isn’t, at this point, in Cary’s class yet. Zraly doesn’t have to be Peyton Manning against Marlboro. But he has to run the offense efficiently and not turn the ball over. At some point, New Paltz will likely need a big play out of him to beat Marlboro.
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