The high school football battle between Highland and Marlboro is called the Black and Blue Bowl. This year, it will determine a regular-season league champion.
Visiting Highland defeated Spackenkill 14-7 on Saturday to clinch a spot in the Section 9 Class B playoffs. Highland has one loss in Class B play and could hand Marlboro its only league loss in Friday’s 7 p.m. showdown on the Huskies’ home turf.
A.J. Buchanan scored on a 5-yard run with 6:48 left in the fourth quarter to put Highland ahead 14-7.
“We were happy to get out of there with a win,” said Highland coach Carl Relyea, whose team had 15 penalties. “(Saturday) was one of those days where we very easily could have put our heads down and thrown the game away and we didn’t do that.”
Brandon Mack’s 15-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Merget in the first quarter gave Highland (6-1) a 7-0 lead. Spackenkill (0-7) tied the score in the second quarter on a 1-yard run by Trevor Dolan.
Buchanan had 13 tackles for Highland, which pushed his season total to 114, a program record. Dolan had 102 yards on 24 carries for Spackenkill, and Ryan Mills and Andrew Withers had 12 and 10 tackles, respectively.
Relyea looks forward to a big-game atmosphere against Marlboro on Friday.
“It’s Highland-Marlboro. What more can you say?” Relyea said.