RONDOUT VALLEY SENDS A MESSAGE FOR 2006 WITH BIG WIN OVER WALLKILL
KYSERIKE - Rondout Coach Jim Malak turned his QB Dan Steers loose and the big junior responded with five TD passes to lead the Ganders to a 47-14 win over Wallkill in a Class A finale.
After a scoreless first quarter, Wallkill opened the offensive floodgates with an 11-yard Zach Henke-to-Rob Gomez TD pass. Trevor Kelly's kick made it 7-0.
Rondout then answered with the first of four consecutive TDs, all coming on Steers aerials, when Joe Viviani grabbed an 11-yard scoring strike. Steers ran in for two PATs to put RV up 8-7.
TE Ben Waruch was the next to snag a Steers pass. His 12-yard TD reception made it 14-7 at the half as the PAT failed.
In the third quarter Steers hit Viviani with a four-yard score and Nick Mason with a 23-yard strike. A Steers-to-Waruch pass-for-two made it 28-7 going into the final stanza.
Early in the fourth quarter, a Ben Caswell-to-Gomez TD pass narrowed the gap to 28-14 after Kelly's second kick.
But the Ganders answered with three more TDs to finish off the game and close out the season. First it was big FB Ron Robinson scoring on a two-yard run with Steers kicking the PAT. Then the defense chalked up a TD when Viviani returned an interception 35 yards to paydirt. The PAT failed. Finally it was Mason making his second TD catch from Steers with the play covering 50 yards. The PAT failed but the final score was 47-14.
Steers completed 13-of-16 passes for 217 yards, giving him 1,010 yards for the season. He also rushed 11 times for 59 yards. Meanwhile Mason had seven receptions for 130 yards.
The Gander defense held Wallkill to eight net yards of offense.
The Panthers' Gomez had four receptions for 43 yards. Henke completed three of 10 passes for 17 yards. Caswell was five-for-10 for 39 yards.
"We're very young and athletic," said winning coach Malak. "We're really looking forward to next year. Who knows? Maybe we'll be going up against Cornwall a year from now."
The game was a battle for fifth place in Class A. Rondout finished at 1-4 (3-6 overall) while Wallkill, just a year removed from its appearance in the state championship game, fell to 0-5, 2-7.