Story by Fred Stabbert III
NEW PALTZ When the Sullivan West Bulldogs arrived at New Paltz on Friday night for their football game the rainshowers had just stopped.
But the New Paltz Hugeonots (4-1) had some thunder and lightning of their own, in the running back duo of Krariff Laboy and Darryl Clark.
The running cousins combined for 280 total yards as Class B power New Paltz slayed the tenacious Bulldogs, 33-14, in a non-league win.
The game actually started out on a high note for Sullivan West (1-0, 4-1) as junior tailback Jared Meola took the opening kickoff 70 yards for a touchdown and a 6-0 Bulldog lead.
New Paltz quickly unveiled its potent running attack on the next series, as Laboy reeled off two long runs, and then Elijiah Dones hauled in a 30-yard TD pass over the middle for an 8-6 New Paltz lead.
Sullivan West would knock on the door twice more in the first half, driving down to the 11 and 20 yard lines, but failed to score.
Meanwhile, New Paltz worked the ball to its experienced backfield and Laboy responded with TD runs of 3, 41, 3 and 11 yards. Section IX’s fourth-leading rusher finished the game with 180 yards on 14 carries.
As the mud splattered teams went into the lockerroom, New Paltz held a commanding 26-6 advantage.
But the second half belonged to Sullivan West as senior quarterback Sawyer Erlwein efficiently worked the passing and running game.
The Bulldogs actually used ball control to outscore New Paltz, 8-7 over the final 24 minutes.
Erlwein ran it in from three yards out to make it 26-14 at the end of the third quarter.
“They moved the ball up and down the field on us in the second half,” New Paltz Coach Tom Tegeler said. “I was very disappointed. We are a pretty good team and that was not our best effort.
“They are a very physical team and I love the way number 25 (Sawyer Erlwein) plays,” Tegeler said. “(Coach) Ron Bauer always has a great team.”
The Bulldogs also used surprise plays to make three first downs on fake punts.
“We weren’t prepared for all the tricks which came out of the bag tonight,” Tegeler said. “They went for the gusto and they have great speed as a team.
“We weren’t prepared for their elusive backs either,” he added.
Sullivan West Assistant Coach Kurt Buddenhagen was pleased with his team’s second half performance but still wanted more.
“When you play a good team like New Paltz you just can’t turn the switch (and score),” Buddenhagen said. “In the second half we had a different ball team out there but we just didn’t leave ourselves enough time.”
Brian Stauch lead the Bulldogs with 95 total yards 50 rushing and 45 receiving. Andrew Stabbert had 48 total yards, 35 of them coming on a long pass on a halfback option play by Richard Shevak.
On defense, Erlwein and Devin Mirch each had nine tackles and Brad Hemmer and Scott Erdman had seven apiece.
The Bulldogs will host league foe Tri-Valley this Friday night at 7 p.m.