MIDDLETOWN, NY — New Rochelle Football defeated a determined Shenendehowa team 24-17 in the New York State AA Semi-Final game held at Middletown High School.
A crowd of about 1,800 people stomped and cheered as the two powerhouses collided.
New Rochelle went up to an early 10-0 lead including a touchdown on a 10-yard run to start the second quarter. Shenendehowa used its long passing game to close the gap including a field goal with 1 second on the clock.
Shenendehowa hit a 52-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter to take the lead for the first time. New Rochelle scored in the 4th quarter to tie the game 17-17. An interception with 4:12 to go in the game led to the go ahead touchdown.
New Rochelle’s defense stopped Shenendehowa on 4th down for another turn over. New Rochelle ran out the clock to secure the 24-17 victory and punched their ticket to the State Championship game in Syracuse next week.
The team secured its second playoff win without its revered head coach, Lou DeRienzo, but his presence was felt throughout the stadium. Fans held Coach D signs, wore Coach D t-shirts and the players chanted Coach D’s name after the game.
DeRienzo has a meeting on Monday with school officials to discuss his “reassignment” on November 13th following an incident at the high school where he is said to have violated school policy by assisting a family member from removing a student from school without following District policy.
EDITOR’S NOTE: I am not a sportswriter so I leave that to others. My intention was to give readers who could not make it to the game which was not just a game given the Coach D situation. I could describe it but instead I took various video clips from the day and compiled them. The video is about the game – I managed to be filming game action and some critical moments for the Huguenots but mostly I wanted to take readers on the field immediately after the game and to the locker room where players and coaches celebrated with family, friends and fans.