The case was made, thusly: Ellenville went three-and-out on the game’s first series after the Blue Devils’ Michael McGriff had run back the Huguenots’ Javon Yant’s long, towering kickoff 45 yards to the New Paltz 49-yard line. And on a fourth-and-nine from the Huguenots’ 48 Ellenville punter (and quarterback) Robert Boriello boomed one to the New Paltz 14-yard line, where Laboy gathered it in, broke to the left sideline and blazed untouched to an 86-yard return. Chris Mazzei’s extra point made it New Paltz 7, Ellenville 0 at 10:15.
The next case in point: Ellenville got the ball to the New Paltz 25 with an eight-play drive (the big play a 37-yard pass from Boriello to star-receiver Jose Aldarondo), but McGriff was thrown for a two-yard loss by defensive tackle Kyle Roberts (who had yet another great game on both sides of the ball), then Boriello was sacked for a three-yard loss by linebacker Pete Ferrante, then two incompletions and the Huguenots took over on their 30. And what followed was the flip side of Laboy’s electric dash up the sidelines...and what is becoming a patented New Paltz drive. It was 70 yards in 12 plays, culminating in Ferrante’s two-yard touchdown behind Roberts and fullback Thomas Covino. The drive was a little of everything at coach Tom Tegeler’s disposal: Clark for runs of four, four, four and five yards; Laboy for 19 and 10; Ferrante for four; Diaz for two and one yards -- plus a 12-yard pass to Ferrante out of a wingback option; and quarterback Kyle Januskiewicz for two. Mazzei’s extra point made it 14-0 at 11:56 of the second quarter.
Midway through the quarter New Paltz got the ball back on the Ellenville 22 after a dazzling 40-yard punt return from little-used Canaan Lightsey. And after Clark picked up six yards on first down, Januskiewicz had his pass intended for Diaz picked off by Ellenville’s Justin Rose at the Blue Devils’ three. Ellenville could pick up only two yards in the subsequent three running plays as Roberts, Jon Schmitt, Josh Tompkins, Anthony Tufano, Kason Clark, Covino and the rest of the gang that make up New Paltz’s defense, shut the Blue Devils down, forcing Boriello to punt from his own end zone, with the Huguenots taking over on the Ellenville 30-yard line. From there it was simple: Clark for six, Diaz for five, then Clark for seven, 10 and the final two for a touchdown. The Mazzei point-after gave New Paltz a surprising 21-0 lead just 4:37 before halftime.
But Ellenville -- the two-time defending Section 9 Class C champion (they moved up to B this season) -- had no notion of just laying down or playing it out. The Blue Devils have too much pride for that, so they went on a 55-yard six-play drive with Boriello running it in for the touchdown from a yard out. The big play was another Boriello pass to Aldarondo for 42 yards. A two-point conversion run by Amer Maxwell cut the New Paltz lead to 21-8 with 2:25 left in the half.
New Paltz opened the third quarter with Clark and Ferrante moving the chains from their own 31 to the Ellenville six in just four plays (the biggie a 48-yard burst behind Roberts, Tompkins and Covino by Ferrante), with Clark ramming it in for his second TD of the game at 9:19. Mazzei’s kick was good and it was 28-8. And two plays later Laboy made the second of his incredible plays with a one-handed back-to-the-quarterback interception of Boriello’s deep pass attempt to Aldarondo. And not content with just the interception, the freshman wunderkind dazzled the faithful with a 62-yard return to the Ellenville 18-yard line. From there it was the New Paltz tri-fecta of Clark, Ferrante and Laboy behind Roberts, Tompkins, Trevor Delcotto and Covino for the score from a yard out by Ferrante. It was 34-8 with 4:35 remaining in the third quarter. Ellenville made the final a more respectable 34-15 on an Aldarondo 60-yard reverse late in the fourth quarter.
Ferrante led New Paltz with 101 yards on 12 carries, with Clark adding 56 on 11 carries and Laboy 93 on just five. Tompkins was credited with two sacks and Covino led the way with eight unassisted tackles.
New Paltz hosts Spackenkill next Friday, October 1 at 7 p.m.