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December 06, 2016
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Critical juncture

A bright shining light in an otherwise gloomy affair, Sullivan West junior Andrew Stabbert rushed for 193 yards on 26 carries, had eight tackles and scored one of the Dawgs’ two TDs in a disappointing 51-14 division loss to Millbrook. The Westies host Liberty in a do-or-die game. A Sulllivan West defeat will eliminate them from securing a playoff berth.
Photos by Richard A. Ross

SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — In the brief lifespan of the fall season, there soon arrives that moment of critical urgency that divides the diverging road of potential future success from that sultry path destined for the disappointment of no postseason play. For the Sullivan West football team, this past weekend’s disappointing 51-14 road division loss to Millbrook makes this week’s Friday night home-division encounter with Liberty that do-or-die moment of truth. Hoping to spoil the Blazers’ inauguration of its new field this past weekend, Sullivan West was confident that it could upset Millbrook and put itself in the position of only needing to win either against Liberty or Tri-Valley to secure a postseason berth. Now the pressure is on in a game that will define the season for the Dawgs’ (1-2, O-1 Class C Division II) season.

This will be the first league game for Liberty (2-2, 0-0 Class C Division II). The Indians, who bested Ellenville 41-30, are Sullivan West’s greatest rival. Two years ago, the Westies prevented Liberty from reaching the playoffs with a 21-20 OT win. Last year, Sullivan West beat Liberty in a non-league game. Both teams made it to the playoffs, but both were beaten by O’Neill, which downed the Dawgs in the semifinal before garnering their second straight Class C crown with a win over Liberty in the championship game. Liberty had ousted Millbrook in the semifinals, and they will host the Blazers on October 12. The Indians know that a loss to Sullivan West would make that game against Millbrook 4-0 (2-0 Class C Division II) a do-or-die affair. Millbrook is looking to avenge last year’s loss enroute to a playoff run they hope will yield a title. Sullivan West needed its ‘A’ game against mighty Millbrook, but instead the Bulldogs unveiled a series of miscues that turned the game into an early rout. Westie junior Andrew Stabbert was one of the bright spots of the otherwise gloomy affair, as he rushed for 193 yards on 26 carries and scored the Bulldogs’ second touchdown, which came with under a minute to play in the game. He also recorded eight tackles, one fewer than defensive leader Zach O’Connor, who had scored the team’s first TD on a 25-yard pass from quarterback Richard Shevak in the second quarter. Devin Mirch had eight tackles. Details of the sad outcome can be found in the tale “Inauguration Ball” on

Eldred (1-3) recorded its first win of the season by downing winless Tri-Valley (0-4) 45-7. Julian Gottlieb had 14 carries for 164 yards and two TD’s. Nik Dilles added one TD and had 120 yards on nine carries. Nick Warren scored three touchdowns. Roscoe/Livingston Manor/Downsville improved to 2-2 (2-0 Class D) with a 35-16 win over Pine Plains (0-4). Rob Taurino caught four passes for 178 yards and had two TDs. He also kicked five extra points. Collin Tallman returned a fumble for a TD and completed four of six passes for 155 yards and two TDs. Brad Dreher completed two of five passes for 103 yards and a TD. He rushed for 61 yards and Dylan Murphy had 59. Monticello (0-4) fell to Valley Central 37-6.

In boys soccer, Liberty remained undefeated at 7-0 with a 1-0 win over winless Sullivan West and a 2-1 Van Etten Tournament championship win over Fallsburg. In the consolation game, Eldred (4-3) defeated winless Monticello 3-0. Sullivan West also fell to Burke 4-0 earlier in the week. In girls soccer, Liberty capped off a big week with a Van Etten Tournament championship win 2-1 over Fallsburg. Two days prior, they edged Sullivan West 3-0 in OT (See the story on titled “Tribe Triumphs in OH-vertime!”). Liberty is now 4-3 (2-2 OCIAA) Sullivan West lost to O’Neill and fell to 2-8 (0-5 OCIAA). Livingston Manor got two wins against winless Tri-Valley, but fell to S.S Seward 5-1. The Lady Wildcats are now 5-3. In cross-country it was Monticello’s Joe Klein and Camryn Johnson who were victorious at a meet in Liberty with times of 17:19 and 20:14 respectively. Sullivan West traveled to Tri-Valley on October 1 for an encounter between the local rivals.

For albums of photos visit