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Sunday, May 16, 2021

Sports > High School >> Football

Dynamic Blue Devils vs. Rampaging Tigers

Football preview: Unbeaten Roscoe/LM vies with Pawling for Eight-Man title

Apr 22, 2021

By Richard Ross - reporter/photographer

Roscoe/Livingston Manor senior Aaron Steele is a threat to run, throw or catch. He is also an aggressive tackler who thrives on stopping players cold in their tracks.
ROSCOE -- It is an opportunity most athletes dream of: to vie for a championship. For the Roscoe/Livingston Manor Blue Devils, this magical undefeated season now warrants a perfect ending, namely an eight-man championship win over the Pawling Tigers.
The adage holds true: “To be the best, you've got to beat the best and for both of these strong contenders, that is what they will be facing on Saturday, April 24 on Pawling's home field at 1 p.m.
Despite the fact that they have had no common opponents this year, with the advent of HUDL, film is accessible and coaches spend hours breaking down what makes the other team tick. For us on this side of the river, R/LM's key weaponry is no secret.

With a trio of quarterbacks in Brenden Ryder, Aaron Steele and Alaniz Ruiz, all of whom can evince deft runs with speed and great field vision, each has also shown the ability to thread a completed pass through opponents' secondary.
But by far, R/LM's greatest asset is its ferocious defense. Great lateral pursuit, clogging running gaps and gang tackling are signature elements of a defense that has authored three consecutive shutouts while scoring 106 points in the three encounters vs. Fallsburg, Tri-Valley and Sullivan West.
And it is a relentless defense that they will have to summon to deal with an explosive Pawling team. Of principal concern is quarterback Will McCarthy who accounted for five touchdowns in last week's 56-40 win over a tough Spackenkill Spartans team. Receiver Aidan Clowry is one of McCarthy's prime targets. Clowry also plays rugged defense. His interception of a Spackenkill pass helped to turn the tide as the Tigers used that as a means to take the lead back after falling behind in the third quarter.
Both coaches are skilled strategy mavens and great motivators. For Pawling's Jason Kuhlmann, the hope is that Pawling can finally get over that final hurdle and win a title. Tri-Valley and Pine Plains stood in their way in the past two years but this year the path to the title game opened at last.
For Roscoe/Livingston Manor Coach Mike Hill, this is the challenge he has wanted for his team: a chance to play the best squad out there. Much will be said in the way of speculation as to which team walks away with the Section 9 trophy, but all of that chatter evaporates when the opening kickoff and the ensuing first clash of players takes place.
This figures to be a classic game of hard-fought, gritty high school football and for the Blue Devils, the hope is that it will manifest in a victory for the ages.
Parents will travel to see their sons play and one special fan will have the best seat in the house, high above the field on a puffy Blue and White Cloud. He'll smile when he hears his former charges chant: One, Two, Three Coach. Make no mistake. He is with them and they are with him.

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