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SportsGoldbacks lose defensive battle in state semifinal

Goldbacks lose defensive battle in state semifinal

When Newburgh Free Academy faced Troy in Middletown last Saturday to decide who would play in the state AA football final, both teams had a similar game plan to start the halves of their possessions.

In his final game for Newburgh, Jadon Munroe used his explosive speed to score a 64-yard touchdown for the Goldbacks.

Troy, ranked number one in the state, took the opening kick-off and consumed most of the first quarter with a drive that ended with a five-yard touchdown catch by Isaiah Burdette with 4:57 remaining in that period.

Trailing 12-7 at the half, Newburgh took the kick-off to start the second half and kept the ball until Giani Hill took it in from a yard out to make it 13-12 after a failed two-point conversion.

Newburgh, ranked 17th in the state, was ready for big upset until Troy’s Dev Holmes scored on a reverse with 1:53 remaining in the fourth. A two-point conversion followed and Troy led 20-13.

Newburgh was given a chance to make the upset a reality until the Goldbacks fumbled on their own 21-yard line 10 seconds after Troy scored. Troy took the ball, killed the clock and Newburgh’s season with the 20-13 victory
“We knew we are playing a great team,” said Bianco.

Newburgh, too, played like a great team. The defense never let Troy get too much momentum, such as when Newburgh Terry Anderson pulled down a pick on the Goldbacks’ 24-yard line with 7:13 left in the fourth.

And the offense never backed down with its feared running game. When the Goldbacks were down 6-0 in the first quarter, Newburgh’s Jadon Munroe exploded out of the backfield on a 64-yard touchdown run that gave the Goldbacks a 7-6 lead.

“They made a couple of plays more than we did,” said Bianco. “I thought we played pretty well, both sides of the ball, special teams.”

By Bond Brungard
sports@tcnewspapers.com

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