SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — “The past is history, the future a mystery and the present is a gift,” goes the adage. For teams that experienced varying degrees of success as well as for those that never won a game, this year’s mission is to be markedly more successful. Making it to the postseason is the goal for established programs, while learning the basics and improving from game to game is uppermost for those who have had little or no prior success.
Locally in football, an interesting clash was shaping up prior to this past weekend between neighboring Class D Eldred and Class C Sullivan West. Both teams came in at 2-0. Eldred had dominated Livingston Manor and Fallsburg, scoring nearly 100 points in the process while allowing none. Traveling to Sullivan West on September 14, the Yellow Jackets and their coach Patrick Kean figured to have their first real acid test. They hoped to knock off the Bulldogs en route to returning the program to its former dominance, which has abated over the past few years.
The Bulldogs, who had beaten stronger foes in Chester and Liberty, had ideas of their own, namely to remain undefeated and to school the Yellow Jackets in the rigors of hard-nose football. This was far from the clash of the titans. Sullivan West trounced Eldred 56-6 to improve to 3-0.
From the opening kickoff, wherein Eldred fumbled the ball thereby setting up Jared Meola’s 17-yard TD run a minute into the game, followed by Michael Sedlack’s PAT, Eldred missed some early chances and then played back on its heels to the rapacious Dawgs, who scored on them seemingly at will. The Westies put the kibosh on Eldred QB Anthony Margarum, who has a great arm but was harried, rushed and sacked, eventually giving way to his younger replacement, Hunter Kolvenbach. Meanwhile, Sullivan West senior QB Sawyer Erwein would score two rushing TDs, while passing for two more scores. The Bulldogs held a 13-0 lead by the end of the first quarter. Andrew Stabbert’s five-yard TD pass reception opened the second quarter. A conversion pass to Cody Franskevicz for made it 21-0. A 34-yard screen pass to Brian Stauch widened the margin to 27-0. Forcing a safety netted two more points and set up a short field for Erlwein, who raced 20 yards to the house. Sedlack added the PAT. Meola returned a kickoff 45 yards for another score and Sedlack split the uprights again. Travis Roeder would race 24 yards and Sedlack rounded the score to 50-0 before Eldred’s Julian Gottlieb raced 37 yards against the back up Dawgs. Stabbert’s two-yard run ended the rout at 56-6.
On September 21, Sullivan West hosts Fallsburg, which won its first game in the three-year history of the program by downing winless Livingston Manor 52-6. That will be the Westies’ first league game of the season.
Eldred travels to Tri-Valley, which won its first game of the season by downing Pine Plains 54-27 in a league tilt. After losing to O’Neill and Millbrook, the hungry Bears dominated the short-handed Bombers with TDs on their first two plays from scrimmage, including a 42-yard option pass from Justin Swarthout to Cody Exner, who then added a 34-yard gallop. Sophomore kicker Zach Nilsen would go six for eight in PATs on the day. Senior quarterback Shatik Smith scored on a 42-yard run as T-V led 20-0 at the end of the first quarter. Smith added two more rushing strikes of 12 and 37 yards to stake T-V to a 33-6 lead at the half. Exner got his second rushing TD, this one of 18-yards and Brendan Tierney raced 57 yards for another strike. Jared James returned a kickoff 85 yards for the 1-2 (1-1 Class C) Bears’ final tally. Pine Plains fell to 0-3 (0-1 Class C).
In cross-country, Sullivan West’s Reed Scott prevailed over runners from Eldred, Liberty, Monticello and Family in a meet on the Liberty loop on September in 16:52 ahead of Monticello’s Joe Klein (17:36), Liberty’s Luis Campos (18:16) and Eldred’s David Powers (18:37). Eldred’s Alex Campanella did not run. He was returning from a college visit to DePaul University. In the girls race, Monticello’s Camryn Johnson (20:06) edged her sister Sydney (20:23), Sullivan West’s Corrine VanWagner (20:45) and Kelsey Dutton (21:01). The teams will vie again this week at Liberty where they will wrangle with Tri-Valley as well.
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