By Sean Lynch
Section 9 Football Insider Staff
CORNWALL — The field at Cornwall Central Middle School was filled with mud holes and cleat spikes after Cornwall’s 34-21 victory over Monroe-Woodbury in a showdown of Section 9 powers. Within minutes of the opening kickoff, the football field looked like a battlefield.
And there were two teams hellbent on winning the fight.
“We really wanted to win this game today,” said Cornwall quarterback Aidan Semo. “They’re one of the best teams in Section 9, they’re very talented and well-coached team.”
Semo completed 14-of-20 passes for 294 yards and two touchdowns, and added 33 rushing yards on four carries.
Cornwall took the lead early with two field goals and a 51-yard Semo touchdown pass in the Dragons’ first three drives.
Both teams exchanged touchdowns twice in the second quarter. Monroe-Woodbury running back Peter Mastropolo rushed for a three-yard touchdown, followed by a 71-yard touchdown pass by Semo.
Monroe-Woodbury (3-2) quarterback Steven Campione responded with a 14-yard touchdown pass to Danny Abrahams, and Cornwall running back Amin Woods scored a 41-yard touchdown on a toss from Semo.
Woods was all over the field for the Dragons. He had 21 carries for 131 yards, two touchdowns, and a 51-yard receiving touchdown.
“We knew they (Monroe-Woodbury) were going to be a great test for us,” said Woods. “It was an intense game. We did a lot of the little things right and came out on top tonight.”
Tonight was the first time Cornwall head coach Mike Connolly coached against his former team. Connolly was Monroe-Woodbury’s defensive coordinator from 2007-2013, before taking Cornwall’s head coaching job.
“It was a great team win tonight,” said Connolly. “The team did a really nice job executing some new things we practiced.”
Cornwall was able to put lots of pressure on Steven Campione, sacking him seven times in the game.
Campione completed 16-of-25 passes for 202 yards and ran for 80 yards on 13 carries.
“Tonight’s loss is a big wake-up call for the team,” said Campione. “We know what we have to work on, and tonight will definitely motivate us for the rest of the season. Cornwall is a strong team with great coaching and they showed it tonight.”
Cornwall (5-0) has one of the toughest schedules in the section, beating non-league opponents Pine Bush, Marlboro, and Monroe-Woodbury. The Dragons join Chester as one of two undefeated teams remaining in Section 9.
“Being 5-0 is great no matter who you play against,” said Semo. “We just have to keep playing hard and stay focused for the remainder of the season.”