By Justin Rodriguez
Section 9 Football Insider
Central Valley — Before this season, Monroe-Woodbury’s Curtis Foster hadn’t played football since he was 10-years-old.
Before last night, Foster, a running back, had never started a game for the Crusaders. However, by the end of Thursday night, he was a hero. Foster rushed for a 59-touchdown and caught a 37-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Steven Campione in the second half to help seal Monroe-Woodbury’s 38-0 Section 9 Class AA Division I win over Middletown.
“Since it’s my first year playing football in a while, I was slightly nervous,” said Foster, a senior. “But I came out hard. I knew I had a job to do and it felt amazing to have a game like this. It is a blessing. I have to thank my linemen for doing their job.”
Monroe-Woodbury (4-2, 2-0 Class AA) played without its leading rusher, Bradley Byrnes, and leading tackler, linebacker Owen Chambers. According to Monroe-Woodbury coach Ryan Baldock, both players sat for precautionary reasons due to injuries. Both Chambers and Byrnes are expected in Monroe-Woodbury’s showdown against Newburgh next week.
Even without Byrnes and Chambers, the Crusaders handled Middletown (2-3, 1-2 Class AA) easily. Monroe-Woodbury took a 7-0 lead on a 2-yard run by quarterback Steven Campione with 2:48 left in the first quarter. Campione hit Johnny McCormick for a 24-yard score to make it 14-0 with 8:23 remaining in the first half.
Campione’s 1-yard run on a fourth-and-goal play made it 21-0 and the Crusaders concluded the first-half scoring on a 32-yard field goal by Mike Boyle. Boyle’s brother, Jamie, is a former star Monroe-Woodbury kicker.
“Guys stepped up tonight and we did what we needed to do,” Monroe-Woodbury defensive end Jack Colbath said. “We were trying to get that zero up on the board for the entire season and we finally did. A lot of guys stepped up. It was just a great team effort.”
Monroe-Woodbury’s defense forced two fumbles and had two interceptions. The Crusaders have won four games in a row by an average of 31.5 points since opening the season with a 14-13 loss to Warwick. Foster’s heroics might have come with the game in hand, but it still had the Monroe-Woodbury sideline buzzing.
Foster, who transferred from Miami, Fla. last year, previously had one touchdown, which came against Valley Central two weeks ago. Foster finished with 100 yards and Campione had 72.
“It’s my senior year, so I might as well say that I played football,” Foster said. “I happen to be good at it. As a back-up player, I just wanted to do my job. I’m just grateful for the opportunity.”
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