Sullivan County Democrat
O n l i n e  E d i t i o n National Award-winning, Family-run Newspaper
  SPORTS ARCHIVES Established 1891 Callicoon, New York  
home  |  archives

Rob Potter | Democrat

Monticello quarterback Shane Jackson (7) runs through the tackle attempt of Middletown defensive back Angel Galarza on a second quarter play.

Middletown tops Monti Panthers, 67-41, as varsity football returns to Monticello

By Rob Potter
MONTICELLO — September 14, 2010 — The hundreds of people who made their way to Monticello High School’s Ed Kennedy Field on Saturday afternoon for the first Monticello varsity football game in 75 years were treated to an extraordinary show.
The visiting Middletown Middie Bears and Monticello Panthers combined for more than 100 points and several hundred yards of offense in their non-league game.
Unfortunately for the hometown fans, Middletown was able to find the end zone a few more times and recorded a 67-41 victory.
Middletown (1-1) got off to a great start by scoring three touchdowns in the first four minutes of the game. Manny Mosely returned the opening kickoff 82 yards for a TD. After the Bears recovered a Panthers’ fumble, Matthew Cartwright ran for a 2-yard touchdown.
Monticello (1-1) fumbled the ensuing squib kick, which gave Middletown possession near midfield. The Bears quickly took advantage of the turnover as quarterback Vincent Mortellaro threw a 50-yard touchdown pass to Jalon White. The TD strike extended Middletown’s lead to 21-0 with 8:54 remaining in the quarter.
But the Panthers responded with three TDs of their own to even the score. With 6:30 on the clock, Monticello quarterback Shane Jackson tossed a 22-yard touchdown pass to Connor Briggs.
Then with just 12 seconds left in the opening quarter, Jackson threw a 28-yard TD pass to Anthony Gray. Jackson then connected with Chandler Williams on a 2-point conversion pass to bring the Panthers to within seven at 21-14.
At 9:32 of the second quarter, Sean Reuss caught a 31-yard touchdown pass from Jackson. Reuss then made the extra-point kick to knot the score at 21-21.
Middletown took a 27-21 lead with a Mortellaro to Angel Galarza TD pass with 3:40 remaining until halftime.
The Bears extended their advantage to 40-21 in the first seven minutes of the third quarter on an 8-yard run by Kirk Nelson and a 14-yard pass from Mortellaro to Brian Andujar.
But the Panthers made it a 40-35 game with touchdowns on their next two possessions. First, Jackson threw a 64-yard scoring strike to Williams. Then, defensive tackle Corey McCall returned a Bears’ fumble 56 yards for a score with 2:12 to go in the quarter.
On the first play of its subsequent possession, Middletown pushed its lead to 46-35 as Mosely caught a 51-yard TD pass from Mortellaro.
With 8:10 left in the fourth quarter, Mortellaro threw a 5-yard touchdown to White as the Bears took a 53-35 advantage.
But the Panthers answered just seconds later as Jackson hooked up with Gray on a 75-yard touchdown pass, which cut the Bears’s advantage to 53-41.
However, Middletown closed out the game with two touchdowns, one a 39-yard pass from Mortellaro to Dontiek Jones and the other a 16-yard run by Cartwright.
Mortellaro completed 13-of-21 passes for 295 yards and six touchdowns. The Bears’ leading rusher was Cartwright, who ran 13 times for 159 yards. Mosely was Middletown’s top receiver with five receptions for 120 yards. Jones and White each had two catches for 54 yards.
“I thought our team did a good job,” Middletown Coach Steve Barone said. “I’m pleased with how we played in all phases of the game – offense, defense and special teams. Although we need to improve our pass defense.
“Credit to Monticello, they kept coming back every time we scored,” he added. “They played hard the whole game.”
Jackson finished the day with 294 yards passing and five TDs.
“Two teams combining for more than 100 points in a high school football game is amazing, it’s something I’ve never seen before,” Monticello Coach Matt Buddenhagen said. “I was proud of the way our guys came back from being down early in the game. Then at halftime, I told our players that we were going to come out and score a touchdown to tie the game and then score again to take the lead. We would have liked to have won this first home game, but we didn’t get it done.”
“The atmosphere was great,” he added. “With the 9-11 ceremony and the pregame activities, this place was rocking. The community really came out to support our football team today.”
Notes: Part of the pregame ceremonies included honoring the Monticello Police Department, Monticello Fire Department, Mobile Medic, Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office, New York State Troopers and members of the Armed Forces.
A moment of silence was observed for everyone who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
Tony Poli was recognized for his donation of land back in 2005 to build Poli Field, which is used by the Monticello modified football team and the MAFCO youth football program.
After the Monticello Chamber Chorus sang the national anthem, Monticello Athletic Director Doug Murphy arrived at the field on a helicopter piloted by Mike Croissant. Murphy then delivered the game ball to referee James Thompson.

top of page  |  home  |  archives