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THE SHOWDOWN IS SET!

Pawling Football Wallops Millbrook, Looks To Pine Plains

 

 

By Rich Thomaselli
HVSR Staff

PAWLING – On a sun-splashed day in the Harlem Valley, Pawling High School football players Joe Furlong and Quinn Clowry looked around on Saturday and almost couldn’t believe their eyes – a sea of black and orange engulfing the field for Homecoming.

“It’s been like this all year; the support we’ve gotten has been amazing,” Furlong said.

Said Clowry: “I mean, we didn’t get this much support when we were playing 11-man football.”

That’s what happens when you’re undefeated and challenging for supremacy in Section 9’s 8-Man League.

Pawling set up the showdown everybody has been looking forward to since last year, shaking off a sluggish start and beating Millbrook, 60-24.

That sets up a huge game next weekend for 6-0 Pawling as the Tigers host 6-0 Pine Plains on Saturday night at 6 p.m., looking to win a division title and avenge last year’s 40-38 loss to the Bombers in the sectional semifinals.

“We’ve been waiting for this game, seems like forever,” said Furlong, who had a rushing touchdown in the win over Millbrook.

“I told the kids this was our most important game of the season because we desperately wanted to get into the game with two undefeated teams,” Pawling head coach Jason Kuhlmann said.

It wasn’t exactly an auspicious start for the Tigers as a depleted Blazers team – standout linebacker Oliver Storey is out for the year, star running back Michael Tipping was out for a second straight game – jumped out to a 16-6 lead.

“I didn’t think we were into the game early,” Kuhlmann said, “but they found their bearings.”

In a hurry.

Pawling scored the next 54 consecutive points behind Clowry’s exploits. The QB was unstoppable, completing six of eight passes for 198 yards and three touchdowns – and all three to his cousin, Aidan Clowry.

Quinn Clowry also ran for 163 yards and three TDs, Patrick Irwin had a rushing TD and Lucas Wroble led the defensive effort with 12 tackles.

“We have a lot of weapons, and the line held up great today,” Quinn Clowry said. “We do a lot of audible routes on the line.”

For Kuhlmann, this year’s success is the fruition of a process.

“I really think the turnaround started four years ago when we were still playing independently. I felt like we had the talent. I would have loved to have been in Section 1 at that point but we didn’t have the numbers,” he said. “Now what we have kids who have been in the program, kids from the modified who we incorporated into learning how things run on the varsity and let them learn through osmosis.”

And now they have a heavyweight tilt for the division championship on their hands.

“We have a lot of respect for Pine Plains,” Kuhlmann said. “I didn’t let my kids watch any Pine Plains film yet because I didn’t want their eyes stuck on Pine Plains. We’ve been chomping at the bit; we’re fired up to get the chance.”

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