By Ted Waddell
LAKE HUNTINGTON October 9, 2007 Just as sure as God made little green apples, if you turn on the lights for a night football game at Sullivan West, it’s going to rain.
For the second consecutive week, it rained as the Bulldogs hosted a game on their field at Sullivan West High School in Lake Huntington.
On Saturday night, the New Paltz Huguenots defeated SW, 35-20, in a non-league game.
The game featured two fake punts, a couple of trick plays that outfoxed the Bulldogs and three unsportsmanlike conduct calls against the Huguenots. In addition, some New Paltz fans displayed poor sportsmanship by yelling for blood and razzing the officials for every call that didn’t go their way.
SW (3-2) got on the scoreboard first at 5:30 in the opening quarter on a 27-yard TD pass from Jim Moloney to Jason Leewe.The PAT misfired, but the home team was up 6-0.
At 3:29, New Paltz (5-1) tied the score on a 27-yard run by Jordan Clark. The PAT kick spilt the uprights to put the Huguenots up 7-6.
With less than a minute left in the quarter, Huguenot defender Jonathan Diaz intercepted a SW pass inside the New Paltz 1-yard line. But seconds later the Bulldogs defensive line racked up a safety to give SW an 8-7 lead.
Later in the quarter, Clark made an excellent punt return and was finally brought down at the Bulldogs’ 18-yard line. Facing a third-and-nine moments later, Robert Buther-Jones took it around the left side of the field for a 15-yard TD with 3:25 left until halftime. A successful PAT kick put New Paltz up 14-8.
SW bobbled the ensuing kickoff, but Reimer landed on it to give the home team possession near its own 40-yard line. In the aftermath of a couple of negative yardage plays, SW faced a fourth- and-13 and punted.
With 40.9 seconds remaining in the quarter, David Clayton connected on a 32-yard TD pass to John Speedling. The PAT kick was good, and the Huguenots headed off to the locker room with a 21-8 lead at the half.
In the third quarter, New Paltz reached back into its bag of tricks on a fourth-and-11 play. The Huguenots once again pulled the wool over the Bulldogs’ eyes with a fake punt, which gave them possession at the SW 17-yard line.
Clayton waltzed into the end zone at the 9:43 mark. After the PAT kick sailed through the backlit uprights, New Paltz led 28-8.
However, New Paltz was flagged moments later for unsportsmanlike conduct.
With about four minutes remaining in the quarter, Moloney hooked up with Leewe for a 29-yard pass completion down to the Huguenots’ 30. Dan Figueroa took it around to the right side for a touchdown at 2:10. But the PAT was wide to the left and the Bulldogs trailed 28-14.
The SW defense pushed back the New Paltz offense on the next possession and as the clock ran out in the third quarter, the Huguenots confronted a fourth- and-six situation at their own 40- yard line. On the punt, the Bulldogs sat around watching the ball bounce ever closer to their goal line, and then found themselves with a first down at their own 14 yard line.
The snap on the first play out of the box misfired, but the Bulldogs held onto possession of the ball. Moloney tried to get out of trouble with a long pass to Reimer, but the ball eluded Reimer’s outstretched fingertips.
Early in the final quarter, Bulldog defender Artie Norden and teammates broke up what looked like a sure-fire, done deal Huguenots TD pass in the end zone. Four seconds later, Clayton connected to David Rose in the left corner of the end zone. A successful PAT gave New Paltz a 35-14 lead.
The Huguenots recovered a Bulldogs’ fumble at 9:39 and then got tagged again for unsportsmanlike conduct.
On a fake punt, Leo Gomez took it down to the SW 23-yard line. A TD pass intended for Rose was broken up at the 5-yard line by Figueroa, and on a fourth-and-seven, New Paltz came up short and the Bulldogs took over at their own 14-yard line.
At 1:59, Moloney connected to Figueroa, setting the stage for a first-and-goal at the 2-yard line. Will Schlott walked through the New Paltz defense for a stand-up TD at 1:38, but Norden’s PAT kick was blocked by New Paltz defender Chris Savosh.
As the game clock ticked away, things started to get ugly. After pushing Reimer out of bounds, a New Paltz player punched Reimer in the back. And it that wasn’t enough, after a play was ruled dead, the Huguenots’ Eric Parise fired a 10-yard bullet pass at Jim O’Connor, the Bulldogs 14-year-old ball boy. While it didn’t go unnoticed by O’Connor, who is the son of Liberty’s varsity football coach, that display of “class” didn’t phase the youngster, who after the game said it lacked any real punch.
At about the two-minute mark, the yellow flags started flying again, and the Huguenots picked up their third unsportsmanlike conduct call of the evening.
“We made too many mistakes, and we got hurt on their fake punts and trick plays,” SW Coach Ron Bauer said. “It could have been a 21-21 game, but they killed us on those fake punts and trick plays.”