New Rochelle dominates NFA in Class AA state quarters

Sean Lynch
Section 9 Football Insider Staff

MAHOPAC — After a 42-7 loss to New Rochelle, Newburgh head coach Bill Bianco told his team that if they put all their chips on the table tonight, they shouldn’t have reasons to be regretful.

He believed everyone gave their all, and lost to a better team tonight.

“Unfortunately, this year we didn’t get as far as we would’ve hoped, but I really do believe everyone gave it their all today,” said Bianco. “There’s only one team in the entire state that can win the AA title, and it wasn’t us.”

The Goldbacks (9-2) had two turnovers in the first 2:03 of the Class AA state playoff quarterfinal and allowed 35 unanswered points.

It seemed like every time Newburgh quarterback Derek Lane threw a pass — New Rochelle had two defenders near every Newburgh receiver.

Nearly every time Newburgh tried to the run the ball — New Rochelle shot the gap and surrounded the Goldback backfield.

Giani Hill scored the only NFA touchdown on a three yard, 4th-and-goal run up the middle with four minutes left in the first quarter. 

He had a 50 yard reception that would’ve been a touchdown against any other team in the state, but two New Rochelle defenders sprinted after him and tackled him by the jersey.

“New Rochelle is fast,” said Hill. “They set the edge very well, they were making plays all over the field, but their speed is what hurt us most tonight. They were all over us.”

After Hill’s touchdown, the Huguenots went on a 35-0 run to end the game.

”We were there, and we had already turned the ball over twice at that point,” said Bianco. “To be tied 7-to-7 at that point was good. And then we blew one coverage here, and things just kind of snowballed.” 

Four different players from New Rochelle scored, including a pick-six from Omari Walker late in the third quarter.

The pick six was one of four Newburgh turnovers. Despite being happy with his teams effort, Bianco wasn’t happy with the mistakes they made. 

“We didn’t take care of the ball tonight,” he added. “We had lots several blown coverages and against a team like New Rochelle, you can’t do that.”

Hill added by saying whether the team won or lost, his memories as a Goldback will always be special to him.

“What’s special to me is our team is a brotherhood. I’ll be friends with a lot of my teammates for the rest of my life, and that’s what is most important to me. When it’s all said and done, that’s what is important to me.”

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