By Rob Potter
MAHOPAC November 14, 2006 The 2006 football season came to an end for the Sullivan West Bulldogs on Friday afternoon at Mahopac High School.
For the second straight year, Section IX champion SW (6-5) was defeated in the Class C regional game by Section I champion Dobbs Ferry.
Unlike last season, however, when the Bulldogs were shut out 26-0 by the Eagles in the regional round of state playoffs, they were able to put some points on the scoreboard in Friday’s contest.
Dobbs Ferry (10-0), which is the top-ranked Class C football team in the state according to the latest New York State Sportswriters Association poll, surged to a 35-0 lead in the second quarter and went on to defeat SW, 48-18.
The Eagles will play Section VII champion AuSable Valley this weekend at Dietz Stadium in the Class C semifinals.
Dobbs Ferry grabbed momentum early by scoring two first-quarter touchdowns. The first was a 19-yard run by Frank Scattaretico at the 8:30 mark, and the second was a 21-yard pass from sophomore quarterback Tim Gardner to Scattaretico.
The third Eagles’ TD was set up by defensive back Trevor Saunders, who intercepted a Jimmy Moloney pass intended for halfback Jason Leewe near midfield.
Three plays later, Matt Higbie scored on a 6-yard run and Matt Goldweber added the PAT kick to make it a 22-0 game.
Dobbs Ferry added two more touchdowns as the clock ticked closer to halftime.
But on the Bulldogs’ last possession of the half, the scores of their family members and fans who made the long trip from Sullivan County cheered loudly as SW got on the scoreboard in the final seconds.
On a third-and-eight play near midfield with just one second displayed on the scoreboard clock, Moloney dropped back to pass. He threw the ball deep downfield and Jon Figueroa jumped up between a pair of Eagle defenders to grab the ball at the goal line. Figueroa landed in the end zone to complete a 43-yard scoring strike.
Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, the momentum they gained on the exciting play was tempered a bit when the Eagles’ defense stopped the subsequent 2-point conversion attempt.
The Dobbs Ferry offense then began the third quarter with a four-play scoring drive, which Devonte Brailsford capped with a 2-yard run.
Goldweber added the extra-point to give the Eagles a 42-6 advantage with 9:53 left in the quarter.
Later in the stanza, the Bulldogs scored their second TD as Moloney connected with Leewe on a 51-yard touchdown pass.
Moloney and Leewe teamed up to score the final SW touchdown of the game with 21 seconds remaining.
On third-and-five from the Dobbs Ferry 14-yard line, Moloney completed a pass to Leewe near the 5. The junior running back then eluded a would-be tackler on his way to the end zone.
Following the game, Dobbs Ferry’s Ryan Fleming and Scattaretico were named the Most Valuable Defensive Player and Most Valuable Offensive Player, respectively.
Fleming and his defensive teammates limited the Bulldogs to 25 rushing yards and intercepted Moloney twice. Scattaretico had four receptions for 182 yards and two TDs.
While noting that his own team played very well, Dobbs Ferry Coach Chris Wagner praised the Bulldogs’ tenacity.
“They kept playing the whole game,” he said, noting that the 18 points which SW scored was the most his team has allowed all season. “The Sullivan West kids played hard.”
Moloney completed 7-of-20 passes for 124 yards. He also averaged 40.1 yards on seven punts, one of which went for 73 yards.
Donald Cooper had 123 combined yards on punt returns and kickoff returns.
“They played hard,” SW Coach Ron Bauer said of his team members. “We have a lot of younger players coming back next year.”
The veteran coach also noted that the Bulldogs were hampered by injuries.
On the third play of the game, senior tight end Justin Alsdorf suffered a knee injury and remained on the team bench for the rest of the contest. In addition, junior offensive/defensive lineman Thomas Lynch sustained an ankle injury in the second quarter and did not return.
While SW is expected to have many of its juniors and sophomores back for the 2007 season, the game marked the final scholastic football contest for seven Bulldog seniors: Alan Ackermann, Alsdorf, John Dertinger, Figueroa, Patrick Knack, Bryan Schmidt and Matt Swendsen.