By Sean Lynch
Section 9 Insider Staff
MIDDLETOWN — After Newburgh Free Academy went down 7-0 early in the first quarter, there was no finger-pointing or head-shaking.
The result of the Goldbacks level-headed attitude was 49 consecutive points, defeating Washingtonville 49-15 in the Class AA semifinal Sunday night.
The Goldbacks will play Monroe Woodbury in the Class AA final next Saturday at 7 p.m. at Dietz Stadium. It will be the Goldbacks sixth consecutive AA final. Monroe-Woodbury defeated Pine Bush 58-33 in the other semifinal on Sunday.
“When Washingtonville scored the first touchdown they were in a quads formation and we weren’t really expecting it,” said Newburgh running back Giani Hill. “We weren’t lined up for it properly, so after the play, coaches came over and told us the formation we should be in if it happened again.”
A quad formation is any offensive formation which places four eligible receivers to one side of an offensive formation.
The Wizards scored their first touchdown on a 25-yard pass where the receivers were lined up in quads formation.
The Goldbacks scored the next 49 points and had a 35-7 lead at halftime. Hill had four of Newburgh’s first five touchdowns.
Newburgh star player Terry Anderson was inactive against Washingtonville after he suffered a leg injury against Monroe-Woodbury two weeks ago. Head coach Bill Bianco is confident Anderson will be playing next week.
“We kept Terry out of today’s game for precautionary reasons,” said Bianco. “He’s made great strides since getting hurt, we should have him back next weekend.”
With Anderson out for today’s game, Hill’s role in the offense was expanded. “Being one of the older guys on the team, I felt like I needed do some things I don’t usually do and make some big plays,” he said.
Syncere Tatum led the Goldbacks with 92 rushing yards and had an 82-yard kick return touchdown to begin the second half.
“We came out and wanted to get to the finals again,” said Tatum. “We played some great team ball and came out with the victory.”
Two weeks earlier, Newburgh beat Monroe-Woodbury 21-18, in one of the best Section 9 games this season.
“We know first-hand how good they are,” said Bianco. “We’re going to have to watch a lot of film this week to see what hings to improve on next week.”