By Frank Rizzo
KINGSTON November 7, 2000 The scoreboard at Kingstons Dietz Stadium listed James I. ONeill as the home team
The football field knew better.
In perhaps the best illustration so far of the benefits of the tri-school merger, Sullivan West (SW) routed ONeill 37-6 on Friday night in the Section IX Class C championship football game.
Kevin Mullally led the Bulldogs with three TDs and 313 rushing yards to win the Most Valuable Offensive Player award.
SW lineman Emanuel E.T. Toledo, who played for the last Delaware Valley championship team in 1998, took time out from celebrating the victory to state, This is our second home.
Under coach Ron Bauer DVCS won seven Class D titles at Dietz, and his charges had been used to calling the stadium home.
On Friday, Bauer guided the Bulldogs to their first C crown, and the former Jeffersonville-Youngsville and Narrowsburg players could join in the tradition.
(Though to be fair, those 90s DVCS squads always had several Narrowsburg members on the roster.)
Rematch a Mismatch
The two teams had battled exactly a week before at West Points Shea Stadium, with host ONeill winning 46-34 to cop the regular season Class C crown.
That game had featured ONeills aerial attack overcoming SWs 400-plus ground yards thanks in part to several costly turnovers by the visitors.
A week later, the Bulldogs did just about everything right on both sides of the ball.
In the first half they held ONeill to two yards total offense while building up a commanding 25-0 lead.
Mullally opened the scoring with a 54-yard romp, and after forcing a punt, the Bulldogs marched 63 yards in 14 plays and consumed 7:14 to score with 45 seconds left in the opening quarter. John Compton took it in from the 6 and followed with a run for two more points.
After an exchange of punts, SW stopped the Raiders deep in their zone, and Compton took the short punt and returned it to the ONeill 4. On the first play of the second quarter, Paul Barrett took it in from there to up the lead to 20-0, and Mullally made it 22-0 with the conversion run.
This was the time when ONeill coach Ted Shramek thought he lost hope.
We can put up a lot of points in a hurry, but not tonight, he noted after the game.
SW again stymied the Raiders on the next possession, and got good field position.
On the last drive of the half Reichmann ran for a touchdown which was called back, and then threw to T.J. Massaro, open in the end zone. This was also nullified, on account of the signal caller having crossed the line of scrimmage when he threw it.
Instead, Reichmann booted a 25-yard field goal to close out the half.
Padding the Lead
ONeill put together a decent march to open the third quarter, only to have Reichmann pick off QB Jon Logans attempted pass to his favorite receiver, Aaron Smith, a few steps short of the SW end zone.
Reichmann returned it to his 30, and from there the Bulldogs quickly reached ONeill territory; a 48-yard run by Mullally around the left end put the ball at the 1.
But Barrett fumbled trying for the end zone, and ONeill had the touchback. The Raiders finally put points on their side of the scoreboard. Logan directed an 80-yard drive, and followed his line into the end zone from the SW 1 on fourth-and-goal.
This was at the start of the fourth, and SW soon answered.
Reichmann was sacked on his 4, but on third-and-24 handed off to Mullally, who bulled and streaked his way 96 yards to paydirt at the 10:00 mark. The run failed, but SW was now up 31-6.
After taking over on downs at the 44, the Bulldogs needed just two plays to score, as Mullally ran it in from the ONeill 48 to complete the scoring.
I felt great, even in the fourth quarter, Mullally said. These guys kept me motivated, and everybody played excellent football.
Reichmann had his second interception of the day to stop ONeills last drive, and the Bulldogs ran out the final 6:15, nearly adding another score to boot.
In postgame ceremonies, Mullally was recognized at the top offensive player, while Steve Mootz took Defensive Player of the game honors for his four sacks and eight tackles.
Mootz, a linebacker, kept Logan frustrated with his blitzes.
In addition to Mullally, Compton rushed for 97 yards, Reichmann added 54, and Barrett had 36 as SW compiled 511 yards on the ground.
We knew we could overpower them on the line, just like last week, Toledo said.
This ranks right at the top, the best game Ive ever been involved in, in any sport, said Reichmann. We knew coming in if we could stop them, we could win. We ran the same offense as last week, and knew they couldnt stop us.
It was a great team effort all the way around, and we had great blocking on the line, Bauer said. I was really pleased with our defense. We changed our defensive schemes, and I give the assistant coaches credit for making the adjustments and preparing the kids for this game.
Bauers assistants are Anthony Durkin, Chris Reichmann, and Keith Travers.
Commented former Jeff-Youngs-ville football coach Dave Franskevicz, The coaches who did the better homework came out winners today.
ONeill coach Ted Shramek noted that we needed to play a perfect game to beat them. Theyre so good, we knew coming in we needed all of our weapons.
Shramek said SW presented the same 4-3 defense that Nanuet used to blank the Raiders 33-0 earlier this season (the only ONeill loss previous to Friday nights).
Their defensive scheme was perfect, and we knew it, but couldnt do anything about it, Shramek said.
Despite his outstanding performance on the newly-installed artificial surface, Mullally said that, on the whole, he prefers grass. He showed off a couple of nickel-sized, deep grass burns he suffered Friday night.
They could not compare to the bruising he administered to ONeill.