By Justin Rodriguez
Section 9 Football Insider
Quarterback Kieran Kreider helped lead Cornwall to the Class A championship game last year as a first-year starter in a high pressure spot.
However, he never played a down in the title game against Goshen, which left him devastated. Kreider suffered a serious knee injury in Cornwall’s Class A semifinal win over Wallkill. He was reduced to a spectator as the Green Dragons rolled to their sixth straight title.
It’s no wonder that Kreider couldn’t wait until Cornwall’s season-opener on Friday night, which served as a rematch of the Class A championship against Goshen. Kreider’s return was an overwhelming success: He completed 9-of-15 passes for 141 yards with four touchdown passes in Cornwall’s 48-0 win.
“This game has been on my mind ever since I got hurt, to say the least” Kreider said. “I knew I what I wanted to get back to. I knew the caliber of player that I wanted to get back to. My performance was the result of my offensive line and my wide receivers. I just threw the ball, but it worked out nice. I feel good.”
Kreider hit Shane O’Dea and Seth Goitia with two touchdowns apiece. Cornwall running back T.J. Gayle rushed for 195 yards and two scores as the Green Dragons put up 315 rushing yards. After posting four shutouts last year, Cornwall opened 2017 with another, forcing two turnovers.
Cornwall put away Goshen 31-0 in last year’s Class A championship and 56-7 during the regular-season.
“Nobody in the world deserves this as much as Kieran,” Cornwall coach Mike Connolly said. “He put so much work in and went through so much adversity after the injury. Kieran is a deserving kid and we are all happy for him.”
Cornwall entered the season as the favorite in Class A, but the demolition of Goshen sent a serious message to the league. The Green Dragons will enter Week 2 against Saugerties as heavy favorites.
“The Goshen win was a good one because it was our first game and I didn’t know what to expect,” Connolly said. “I didn’t know what to expect, jumping into a league game. We have a young team, but our offense played well, and obviously we had the shutout. We had contributions from a lot of guys and there is definitely potential with this team.”