By Justin Rodriguez
Section 9 Football Insider
When New Paltz’s 2017 schedule came out, quarterback Jimmy Verney carefully surveyed it, looking closely for one game.
And there it was: Marlboro at New Paltz at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, October 13th.
At that moment, the anticipation began, building until now — seven weeks into the season — and it has reached a fever pitch. This Class B battle between two dominant 6-0 teams is the game that everyone wants to see. It’s the showdown that has Section 9 buzzing.
“When I saw Marlboro was the last game of the regular season, right from there, I knew it was going to be one of the biggest games of our lives,” Verney said. “The fact that both teams are 6-0 makes it even bigger. As defending Section 9 champs, we have a big target on our back, and it’s even bigger with Marlboro. Especially since we broke their streak of winning five titles in a row. I’m definitely motivated and I think Friday night will be a special game.”
New Paltz defeated Marlboro 34-7 last October. 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.
Marlboro defeated opponents by an average of 15.2 points in the championship game during its five-year run as Class B champions. The Iron Dukes reached the semifinals of the Class B state playoffs three years in a row 2012-14. In 2012, Marlboro became the first Section 9 Class B team to win state playoff game since Rondout Valley in 2000.
“Winning five Section 9 championships in a row and having that taken away from us was a big thing,” Marlboro quarterback Phil DeSantis said. “We have the mentality of being on top of every year. Last year’ loss hurt our team, but it pushed us this year. We have more emotion and more drive. We are just going to come out and do our thing on Friday night.”
Marlboro and New Paltz have dominated opponents this season with each registering six blowout wins. The Iron Dukes have outscored opponents 301-62 and New Paltz has outscored opponents 229-54. That translates to Marlboro winning its games by an average score of 50-10. New Paltz has won its six games by an average score of 38-9.
Three teams, Spackenkill, Liberty and Red Hook, have had to play New Paltz followed by Marlboro in back-to-back weeks. Marlboro vs. New Paltz is perhaps the most anticipated game of the regular-season this year. Other much-hyped games this season were Monroe-Woodbury vs. Newburgh last week and the Newburgh-Cornwall showdown on Sept. 23.
“I’m definitely excited because this is probably one of the biggest games that I will ever play in,” Marlboro wide receiver/defensive back John Perugino said. “We definitely tried to keep focusing on one game at a time, but this game was always on the back of our minds. We knew we were going to have to get to this game and beat them if we want to accomplish what we set out to this year.”
New Paltz vs. Marlboro: Tale of the Tape
Class B state ranking
Points per game
Points allowed per game