Crusaders' season ends with 20-9 loss to NFA in Section 9 Class AA title game

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  • Photos by William Dimmit Mike Boyle hit this 25-yard field goal in the second quarter.

  • QB Steve Campione rolls out of the pocket in the second quarter.

  • Dylan Wynn scored the Crusaders' only touchdown on a two-yard run in the third quarter.

  • It hurts: Crusader Jayden Prina walks off the field after the Crusaders' season and his high school career come to an end.

KINGSTON — On Saturday night, Nov. 3, the Monroe-Woodbury Crusaders and the Newburgh Free Academy Goldbacks battled for the Section 9 Class AA Title at Dietz Stadium in Kingston.

The Crusaders entered the game with a 6-3 record on the season. They had defeated Pine Bush the previous week to reach the title game.

The Goldbacks entered the game with a 8-1 record. They had beaten Washingtonville last week to advance.

First quarterThe game started out as a defensive struggle with the teams trading possessions.

With 53 seconds left in the first quarter, the Crusaders stopped a Newburgh drive on the 17 yard line and NFA's 34-yard field goal attempt sailed wide left,

The score at the end of the first quarter: 0-0.

Second quarterOn the Crusaders next drive, hard-running Peter Mastropolo broke loose on a 43-yard scamper that gave the Crusaders a first down on the Goldbacks' 16 yard line.

But Newburgh's defense stiffened and the Crusaders had to settle for a Mike Boyle 25-yard field goal that put the Crusaders up 3-0.

The Goldbacks got the ball back and drove down the field until the Crusaders defense stopped them on a fourth and one on the Crusaders' 35-yard line.

You could feel the momentum swing toward the Monroe-Woodbury sideline but on the next play a Crusader fumble gave the ball back to Newburgh.

The Goldbacks cashed in on the Crusader miscue and scored on seven-yard touchdown pass from Derek Lane to Terry Anderson with just 17 seconds left in the half to take the lead 7-3.

Third quarterOn the Crusaders opening possession of the third quarter disaster struck when Goldback defender Kameron King pick up a Crusader fumble and rambled 26 yards for a touchdown to put NFA up 13-3.

The Crusaders were not done and drove back down the field and when Dylan Wynn smashed his way into the Goldback end zone with 27 second left in the third quarter.

The Goldbacks lead was down to four points.

On the ensuing onside kick, Rich Monda recovered to give the Crusaders a first and ten on the Goldbacks' 44-yard line.

But the Crusaders couldn’t move the ball and had to punt.

The Goldbacks increased their lead when Giani Hill scored on a six-yard run with 10:42 left in the game.

The Crusaders attempted to rally but with 2:44 left in the game the Goldbacks intercepted a deflected pass.

Then again with just 19 seconds left in the game, they picked off the Crusaders' last effort in the end zone.

The Crusaders 20-9 loss marks the end of the season.

After the game was over Head Coach Ryan Baldock and his staff huddled with their team in the north end zone. Their were tears, hugs and good byes and - even as the stadium lights were being turned off - this Crusader team, this family didn’t want the season to end.

- William Dimmit

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