GOSHEN HOLDS SECOND PLACE IN CLASS A BY BEATING WALLKILL
GOSHEN - Kamaal Mabry scored the game's only two touchdowns as Goshen defeated Class A opponent Wallkill in a driving rain to maintain hold of second place in the league.
"It's brutal out here," said soaked Gladiator Coach Chip Elliott following his team's 13-0 triumph in the mud at Osacr Gustafson Field.
"My A.D. suggested postponing the game until Monday because of the bad conditions, but we didn't want to face a short week of practice for Washingtonville."
Actually, the conditions gave the favored Gladiators an extra edge over the smaller Panthers. Goshen had a couple of power backs and some big linemen well suited to slugging it out in the mud. Of course, anything can happen when a field is slick and the ball is slicker; but Goshen minimized its errors while maximizing its advantages.
The first half was played almost entirely in Wallkill territory. A nice 24-yard Jerrell Lucas-to-James Disapio pass completion midway through the second quarter gave the Glads a first and goal at the Panther four. But the Wallkill 'D' stopped Goshen on four successive outside plays. A big third down sack by Jeff Hanson of Lucas, who was running Goshen's pet pass-or-run option to the left, keyed the stand.
The farthest Wallkill's offense could drive in the first half, however, was to its own 40.
The Panthers got their chance in the second quarter when Rob Benjamin blocked a Goshen punt which they recovered at the Gladiator 35. But on a third and 15, Wallkill QB Zach Henke lost the football while trying to pass. DE Ryan Crowley recoverd for Goshen at midfield.
The Glads then drove 50 yards in seven plays, aided by a Wallkill personal foul that gave them a first and 10 at the 11. Mabry rushed for 20 of those yards on five carries while WB Nasim Siddeeq ran for 17 on two lugs. Breaking a tackle at the three, Mabry scored the TD with 2:10 left in the third quarter on a four-yard run. A run for two PATs failed. 6-0.
Another takeaway also set up Goshen's second score. With 3:19 left in the fourth quarter Lucas snagged his first interception of the game and returned it 23 yards to the Panther 43. Two Mabry runs netted two yards. Then the senior RB took a pitch, got around the right side, raced down the right sideline, cut back at the 15 and rambled into the end zone to complete his 55-yard TD run. "Rocket-Foot" Tom Ribitzki hammered the soggy pigskin through the uprights, and Goshen had an insurmountable 13-0 lead with 2:40 left.
The defending champs, however, didn't quit and went to the airways. A 24-yard completion from Henke-to-Steve Rola notched one first down while a nine-yard hookup between Henke and Ralph Malloy plus a two yard run by Henke earned another first down, this one at the Glad 40. But three plays later Lucas ended things with his second pick and 35-yard return. Lucas has been playing with a sore shoulder.
Mabry was the game's leading rusher with 129 yards on 21 carries. Siddeeq was seven-for-54. Overall the Gladiators gained 179 yards rushing on 38 carries. They netted 203 yards of total offense.
The tough Goshen defense registered its third shutout of the season as it limited Wallkill to just seven net yards rushing, 33 yards passing and five first downs. In addition to Crowley, Chris Vetere also had a fumble recovery.
Wallkill's leading rusher, A.J. Calvo, was held to one net yard on 20 carries. Paulo Alvear gained nine yards on four carries to be the Panthers' leading rusher. Henke completed two-of-nine passes for the 33 yards.
Goshen is now 3-1 in Class A (5-1 overall) and is second in the league behind Cornwall (3-0). The Glads will host AA-ll's Washingtonville next Saturday.
Wallkill drops to 0-3 (1-5) and hosts Port Jervis Friday night.
--- PHIL DUSENBURY