Crusaders overcome 10-0 halftime deficit at Middletown to pull out 14-13 win

Crusaders overcome 10-0 halftime deficit at Middletown to pull out 14-13 win

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  • Crusader Peter Mastropolo pulls down Middletown quarterback Dalton Howell.

  • Crusader Jack Dembia (#11) scored with 15 seconds left to tie the game.

  • Dylan Wynn (#22) kept the Crusaders in the game with two interceptions.

  • Photos by William Dimmit Sophomore QB Anthony Campione (#10) led the Crusaders to the last-second 14-13 victory over Middletown.

  • Center Kyle Bermingham and the Monroe-Woodbury Crusaders get ready to storm onto the field against Middletown last Friday night, Sept. 21.

MIDDLETOWN — On a cool Friday night, Sept. 21, the Monroe-Woodbury Varsity Football team traveled to Middletown High School to take on the Middies.

The Crusaders entered the game with a 2-1 record, having scorched Kingston at home last week 70-0.

The Middies had a 1-2 record, having defeated Port Jervis 24-0 last week.

The two teams traded punts and field position in the first quarter, with both defenses controlling of the game.

With 4:58 left in the second quarter, the Middies defense came up with a big interception, giving the offense the ball at the Crusaders' 41-yard line.

The Middies capped off the drive when running back Hakim Chambers took the ball in from eight yards out; the PAT gave Middletown a 7-0 lead.

The next Crusader possession ended with another interception, which gave Middletown the ball on the Crusaders' 36-yard line.

The Middies drove the ball to the Crusaders' 11 yard-line and, with six seconds left in the half, Middletown kicked a field goal to take a 10-0 lead.

The Middies, who had not beaten the Crusaders since 2001, went to the locker room with the lead and visions of an upset.

The Crusaders were still in the game at the half but looked flat and lifeless.

Coach Ryan Baldock's half time talk must have put some fire back into the Crusaders as they took control and drove the ball down the field from their own 20 to the Middletown one-yard line where they lost the ball on a fumble.

Crusader Dylan Wynn got the ball back when he intercepted a Middie pass at their 25-yard line.

But Chris Washington intercepted an Anthony Campione pass in the end zone.

The Crusaders defense rose up again and this time Tyler Stills picked off a pass and returned it to the Middletown 15-yard line.

And this time Campione hit Peter Mastropolo with a 13-yard pass. When Mike Boyle hit the PAT, the Crusaders were back in the game.

In the fourth quarter, after the Middies had stopped the Crusaders on downs, they drove down to the field and kicked a 20-yard field goal to go up 13-7 with just 2:58 left in the game.

Campione, the sophomore again playing for his older injured brother, and the Crusader offense got the ball back on their own 30 with time running out.

They responded, making several key third and fourth plays to keep the drive alive. Finally with 15 seconds left on the clock and the ball inside the ten-yard line, a scrambling Campione let a pass fly and Jack Dembia came down with the ball in the end zone to tie the score.

Mike Boyle hit the game winning PAT to cap the Crusaders last second rally.

The Crusaders' exciting come-from-behind victory brings their season record to 3-1. Their next game will be at Cornwall on this Friday night when they take on the Dragons.

- William Dimmit

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