The Pawling High School football team overcame a halftime deficit to defeat Haldane 23-12 on Saturday in Cold Spring for its second straight win.
Aaron Thomas’ 12-yard pass to Matt Bellucci midway through the second quarter got the Tigers on the board at 12-6, which was the halftime score. Thomas and Bellucci connected again on a 7-yard pass in the third quarter, and Mergim Demaku’s two-point conversion gave Pawling a lead it would hold on to.
“We overcame some adversity and I was happy with the way the guys stayed with it,” Pawling coach Jason Kuhlmann said of his 2-2 Tigers, who also got a Bellucci safety and a 62-yard kickoff return from Aiden King.
Demaku replaced fullback Matt Acevedo, who Kuhlmann said is likely out for the season with a torn ACL and partially torn MCL. Demaku rushed for 97 yards on 24 carries. Bellucci ran for 35 yards, had 76 receiving and had 10 tackles. Jude Costigan had 10 tackles, while Billy Reynolds added five tackles and a sack.
Tyler Giachinta and Will Moss scored on first-quarter touchdown runs for Haldane (0-3).
“It’s incredibly disappointing. We got off to a good start, but we made way too many mistakes,” Haldane coach Jeff Sniffen said. “You can’t win football games making the amount of mistakes we made.”
Pawling hosts Bronxville on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. Haldane hosts its homecoming on Saturday at 3 p.m. against Yonkers Montessori Academy.