Red Hook football team falters near the end

Red Hook’s football team gave it their all in the home stretch, but the effort was too little, too late.

Red simply laid waste to visiting Rondout, 40-0, on Oct. 18, The Ganders, winless and with a combined scoring total of 50 points on the season, were helpless against Red Hook’s sweeps for the better part of the first half – and once they focused on the Raider running game, led by halfback Dustin Ducey, quarterback Luke Brochetti made it rain, putting up four throwing touchdowns on the day, including a 52-yard completion to 6’6” senior wide receiver Brendan Coleman.

Sophomore linebacker Tim Terry led the defense with 10 tackles. Freshman quarterback Nick Carlson got on the field in garbage time, throwing an interception to kill the game.

“We started strong with the outside run, and when they started shutting down the run, we went to a couple quick slants. We’re just the stronger team and a lot of things were working. Rondout, though, we have to give a lot of credit for shutting down our inside running game,” Red Hook head coach Bill Stutz told the Observer after the Rondout game.

The win kept Red in the running for a Section IX Class B playoff spot, which they could have grabbed with a win over Spackenkill’s Spartans on Oct 20. But it wasn’t in the cards.

The Red Raiders didn’t have much of a response to Spackenkill’s supermassive defensive line, turned the ball over on fourth and goal twice, and was unable to control either Spackenkill’s 5’10”, 240lb fullback Nicholas Celestino or 6’2” tight end Josh Riley.

Red Hook made it a game in the fourth quarter. Junior wide receiver Dan Acosta broke for a 50 yard, virtually unmolested touchdown run. It was followed soon after by a three-yard touchdown run by Brochetti and a two-point conversion sweep by Acosta.

But with tension high, Spackenkill iced Red in the final four minutes. Relying on senior halfback Wayne Bowden, Spack marched down the field and milked the clock. Celestino walked the ball in on an exhausted Red Hook defense with 1:26 left on the clock, and a deflated Red Hook capped the game on a Brochetti interception.

Spackenkill will be the #2 seed in the Section IX Class B playoffs, facing #3 seed New Paltz at Middletown’s Faller Field on Oct. 27. Red Hook will end their season against a strong Newburgh Free Academy (5-3) team on Oct. 26.

“We’ve come a long way overall. I’m proud of my guys – they’ve never been tighter than they are right now, even with this loss. They came together and gave it their best shot,” Stutz said.

“I separated the seniors from the rest of the team and told them ‘Thank you’ for everything they’ve given to the program. We’ve had a lot of six-year players,” Stutz said. “And I told the underclassmen to meet me in the weight room.”

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