Those on the New Paltz side insisted this wasn’t that much of a surprise, that the Huguenots stunning the Marlboro football team seemed unfathomable only to those who didn’t know the team well.
The requisite components were there, all the necessary ingredients have been in their cupboard.
“But that’s a family secret,” New Paltz resident Jeff DiMarco joked. “If we told you, we’d have to kill you.”
It’s for private consumption, apparently. But just about all of the components were on full display as New Paltz High School pulled a 34-7 upset of powerhouse Marlboro on Friday.
Allow for a second that score to marinate. Then realize, it actually could have been more lopsided. The Huguenots scored only once in the second half. It was their first victory over the Iron Dukes since 2010.
New Paltz overwhelmed their opponents at the line of scrimmage. The defensive line stifling what typically is a dominant Iron Dukes offense. On the other side, the offensive line consistently created creases for an efficient running game.
Kenny Verney ran for 114 yards and two touchdowns and his cousin, Jimmy Verney, threw a touchdown and ran two additional scores. Kumar Singh’s 52-yard touchdown catch had made it 21-0 in the second quarter. The senior also had three pass deflections at cornerback.
The hidden ingredient there…
“It’s all about the homemade sauce,” safety Joseph DiMarco said.
What aids the big fellas feasting on the field, is eat well beforehand.
It’s become a tradition, the Thursday meetings at DiMarco’s house for pasta. His mom, Carmen, whips up the secret sauce and serves it with rigatoni. The players dig in, and seconds are often requested.
“Oh, it’s good,” defensive tackle Guy Soumah said nodding. “It’s real good!”
All the carbs (and possibly the additional pounds) have helped New Paltz develop one of the stoutest defensive lines in the area. Jeff DiMarco, Joseph’s dad, certainly believes it’s contributed to the 5-1 start.
“There’s some guys on (our defensive line) who can’t be blocked,” New Paltz coach Tom Tegeler said.
Keep in mind, Marlboro is the five-time defending section champion who for so long was a leviathan for local teams.
“This was our best win of the year,” Jimmy Verney said. “Our best win in a while.”
His fourth-quarter touchdown, a keeper off a zone read, went for 29 yards and put New Paltz up 34-7 with 6:31 left.
New Paltz took over first place in Section 9 Class B Division 1, moving a game ahead of Marlboro (4-2). And with a game remaining in the regular season, the Huguenots created some separation in the muddled standings.
“It’s a great division and we set ourselves up to be at the top,” said Tegeler, whose team had spent the previous two seasons in Class A. “This was a great win.”
Kenny Verney’s 16-yard score gave the Huguenots a 28-7 lead with 4:27 left in the first half.
It came in quick response to John Perugino’s dazzling 51-yard touchdown catch that pulled Marlboro within 21-7. On a go route, the tailback collided with a defensive back as the ball arrived, bobbled it behind his back before securing it, then darted up the sideline.
That was all Marlboro could muster against a defense whose line was anchored by Soumah and Phil Dorman. Max Lunati recovered a fumble that preceded Kenney Verney’s 2-yard touchdown — a salvo in the first quarter. As well, Verney and DiMarco each had fourth-quarter interceptions.
“This was the biggest win of our lives,” said Alexis Garcia, a New Paltz soccer player in attendance. “We’ve got a great team, and it showed.”
Stephen Haynes: firstname.lastname@example.org, 845-437-4826, Twitter: @StephenHaynes4