WALLKILL - The Ganders of Rondout had several weapons to use against Wallkill in Friday afternoon's Class A semi-final game at Dietz. The result was an 18-0 shutout victory. The Gander offense kept the Wallkill offense off the field, and when the Panthers did get the ball, the Gander defense only allowed them four first downs.
The win advanced Rondout into next week's Class A Section Nine final against Cornwall Green dragons.
Wallkill received the short opening kickoff but quickly turned it over on downs. The Ganders then went on a 12-play scoring drive that covered 74 yards and took 6:35 off the clock. The score came on a 21 yard TD pass from Dan Steers to Nick Mason. Steers' kick was blocked.
In the second period, Rondout drove to the Wallkill 15 but Zach Henke picked off a Steers pass in the end zone. This was one of two interceptions by Henke; the other came when Rondout had progressed to the Wallkill 35 late in the second quarter. So with two opportunities lost, the Ganders led only 6-0 at the half.
In the third quarter, Rondout ran off 4 straight first downs, culminating at the 7:51 mark when Steers again hit Mason a six-yard TD pass. This time a PAT pass failed. The nine-play drive covered 75 yards.
Late in the third quarter, Wallkill drove to the Gander 22. It was only the second time in the game the Panthers would get inside Gander territory. But Kyle VanBenschoten picked of a Seth Ewald toss at the 19 and returned it 33 yards.
The final TD for Rondout was set up by another interception, this one by Mason who returned the theft 29 yards to the Wallkill 24. Two plays later Alex Herbert ran in from 18 yards out. A run for two points after failed. 18-0 with 2:49 left in the game.
The win boosted Wallkill's overall record to 8-1. Wallkill finises its season with a 4-5 slate.
Here are some stats:
RV Rushing -
Joe Viviani 19/73 Rushing
Bobby Mei 14/101 Rusing
Dan Steers 7/13/116, 2 TD's, 3 Ints.
Nick Mason 5 receptions for 90 yards and 2 TD's
Ewald 8/19/62, 2 Ints.
Offense - Nick Mason - RV
Defense - Paulo Alvear - Wallkill
--- RICH MICHAELIS