In mid-September, Newburgh played Pine Bush at home and stopped the Bushmen 34-7 on the Academy Field’s turf.
Saturday, both teams met again on turf at Middletown’s Faller Field in the Section 9, Class AA title game. And again Newburgh’s offense and defense shut down the Bushmen 33-6 as the Goldbacks claimed their fourth straight sectional title.
“They are tough to play against. They do a lot of shifting,” said Bill Bianco, Newburgh’s coach. “We had a game plan we could execute, and the kids did tremendously.”
Newburgh led 14-0 at the half with a three-yard touchdown run by Giani Hill, and a 13-yard touchdown catch by Vernon Smith. Hill added a three-yard score in the third quarter and a one-yard plunge in the fourth after Jadon Munroe took it home with a 31-yard run on the first play of the third quarter.
After Newburgh’s Uh’Charion Hanson fumbled a kick-off early in the first, Pine Bush attempted a 40-yard field goal. Newburgh’s speedy defense block it, and Hill recovered it and brought the ball back deep into Pine Bush territory. Hill later scored his first touchdown.
“I got three [touchdowns], so it feels good,” said Hill.
Pine Bush scored on the final play of the game when David Alecnat took the ball into the end zone from four yards out. Pine Bush opened the game with Anthony Potts, a two-way starter, and lost Dave Degroodt and Jon Grasso, also two-way starters, to injuries in the game.
“They are the best defense we saw all year, other than Minisink,” said Jim Wright, Pine Bush’s coach. “The better team won tonight.”
The Goldbacks return to Faller Field Saturday, Nov. 18 at 7 p.m. to face Troy or New Rochelle in the state semis.
“We are feeling great about ourselves,” said Hill. “We beat all these Section 9 teams, so now we’re onto bigger and better opponents. We have to get ready.”
By Bond Brungard