Marlboro holds off New Paltz in instant classic to reclaim Section 9 Class B championship
In Class A title game, Cornwall beats Port Jervis for 7th straight championship
By Justin Rodriguez
Section 9 Football Insider
New Paltz vs MarlboroMiddletown — Marlboro vs. New Paltz, Round 1 last month certainly lived up to the hype.
That set the stage for Friday night. The rematch. And the rivals put on quite a show at Faller Field in what was a dramatic instant classic.
Top-seeded Marlboro held on to defeat New Paltz, the third seed, 27-25 to win the Section 9 Class B championship. The Iron Dukes had won five consecutive Class B titles in a row before New Paltz ended their run last year.
In the Class A championship on Friday night at Dietz Stadium in Kingston, Cornwall defeated Port Jervis 52-14, winning its seventh straight championship. The Green Dragons (9-0) have now won 50 straight games against Section 9 Class A opponents dating back to September of 2011.
“This feels amazing,” Marlboro quarterback/running back Phil DeSantis said. “I have been on the team for a few years and we always won. We lost last year because we didn’t have the hunger. We got it back and we worked extra hard to get to this point. We were ready to play New Paltz in the final game because that’s what we knew it would come down to.”
Marlboro helped seal Friday night’s win by stopping the Huguenots on a two-point conversion try with 4:06 remaining. Star quarterback Jimmy Verney pulled New Paltz to within 27-25 on a 2-yard run and finished with 99 rushing yards and two scores.
On the two-point conversion, Verney rolled out, but threw a pass wide to Axel Rodriguez. Marlboro regained possession and was able to run out the clock for the win.
“I saw Axel go into the corner and he has good hands, he can jump and he’s quick,” said Marlboro quarterback Sam Mongelli, who threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more. Mongelli’s 3-yard run with 8:29 remaining gave the Iron Dukes a 27-19 lead.
“I think New Paltz just got a little unlucky,” Mongelli added. “I think it should have been completed, but I think Jimmy Verney is one of the best quarterbacks around, if not the best. He’s the best of the best. I was nervous. I had a knot in my gut, but I was happy when I saw it sail.”
Friday night’s win gave Marlboro a two-game sweep over New Paltz. The Iron Dukes defeated New Paltz 21-7 last month. New Paltz defeated Marlboro 34-7 during the regular-season last year.
For good measure, 28 days later the Huguenots put away the Iron Dukes 33-17 to win their first Class B championship since 2010. New Paltz went on to lose to Pleasantville 56-20 in the quarterfinals of the Class B state playoffs.
With Friday night’s win, Marlboro moves on to play Pleasantville or Westlake in the quarterfinals of the state playoffs at 7:30 p.m. next Friday at Mahopac High School. Pleasantville and Westlake play for the Section 1 Class B title at 6 p.m. on Saturday. The Iron Dukes led New Paltz 14-13 at halftime Friday night and went up 20-13 on a 9-yard run by Mongelli. The play was set up by a 53-yard pass play from DeSantis to Mongelli.
New Paltz pulled to within 20-19 on a 65-yard run by Verney, but the Huguenots missed the extra point.
“I’m a big win guy. Win, win, win, win, win,” New Paltz coach Tom Tegeler said. “But that’s the most proud I’ve been of a team that lost. I told the team that after the game. We played our guts out. That’s the bottom line. Congratulations to Marlboro, they are a great football team. You have two programs that have battled for a long time and kudos to them.”