It wasn’t a seesaw game. Except for a few minutes in the final quarter, the Dragons led from beginning to end. At times, Cornwall was ahead by a pair of touchdowns, but the lead kept slipping away.
The Dragons beat Wallkill 42-35 last night, but the visitors almost drew even in the closing minutes of the game. They were dangerously close to the goal line when Ryan Incognoli intercepted a pass over the middle. Cornwall then ran out the clock as Kevin Gangemi and Moiset Santos combined for three first downs on the ground.
Playing their last home game of the season, the Dragons displayed a well-balanced attack. Unofficially, Mike White picked up 266 yards through the air, and the Dragons had 10 runs of 10 or more yards.
Cornwall controlled the Panther ground game for most of the night, but visiting quarterback Joe Pillitteri was able to connect with four receivers in the end zone. The Panthers’ only touchdown on the ground gave them a brief 35-34 lead.
But White answered with a deep sideline pass to Chris Bauer, who made his eighth catch of the night, and then charged over the goal line. On top 40-35, Cornwall added a two-point conversion. White faked a pass and then flipped outside to Gangemi, who made a quick turn and cut through a sea of defenders.
The run wouldn’t have been necessary if a Wallkill penalty hadn’t nullified a successful kick by Eric Growney. The officials dropped the flag as a visiting lineman went off-sides. Eric booted the ball through the uprights, but the play had been blown dead. The follow-up kick was wide to the left,
Five other players besides Bauer had touchdowns for the Dragons. White, Gangemi and Matt Robinson scored on the ground; Kobie Thomas tallied on a pass, and John Roth returned an interception to put the Dragons ahead, 34-21.
The Wallkill quarterback was hit as he was releasing the ball. The pass fluttered over the line of scrimmage, and John turned 180 degrees to make the catch. Once he had the ball, he outraced the opposition for his first touchdown of the year.
Deston Treasure had a pick in Panther territory in the first half. The visitors had no interceptions, but they recovered a pair of fumbles.
After losing on opening night, Cornwall has won five straight games. The Dragons have a 4-0 record in their league.