Saturday night’s game between the Millbrook High School and Pine Plains football teams began with a moment of silence.
Then, the Blazers made plenty of noise.
Millbrook stormed to 39 first-half points en route to a 39-6 victory over the Bombers, who hosted their first game since the tragic car crash that killed two Stissing Mountain High School students – Gian Paolo Stagnaro and Pine Plains football player Zach Pruner – and injured two other players, Dustin Hale and Niall Johnson.
“I have a lot of respect for the people of Pine Plains, the coaches, the players, the fans,” Millbrook coach Sean Keenan said, “to rally around the team and keep going forward, I give them a lot of credit.”
Running back Henry Cardinal led the effort to improve Millbrook to 2-0 this season, picking up 159 yards and three touchdowns on eight carries, and added a two-point conversion. Delvin Wood and Joe Daley added a rushing touchdown each.
“Henry ran very well,” Keenan said, noting the standout efforts of two-way linemen Clay Soileau and Nick Raylor. “The line did a great job blocking.”
Defensively, Joe DiGregorio collected nine tackles for the Blazers, and Jacob Higgins had seven.
Pine Plains, which dropped to 0-2, will visit Onteora on Saturday. Millbrook travels to Tri-Valley on Saturday.
Keenan is involved with the Northern Dutchess Raiders Pop Warner organization, which produces players for both the Millbrook and Pine Plains school districts. As such, emotions were high on both sidelines entering the game.
“We talked about that a lot this week,” Keenan said. “We wanted to make sure we played hard and played with class.”