The Record from Hackensack, New Jersey on November 11, 2006 · S9
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The Record from Hackensack, New Jersey · S9

Hackensack, New Jersey
Issue Date:
Saturday, November 11, 2006
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SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 1 1 , 2006 THE RECORD S-9 North Jersey Sports Help us pick the North Jersey offensive and defensive Players of the Year by casting your vote at northjersey.complayeroftheyear Late score ends St. Joseph's State run By MARK J. CZERWINSKI STAFF WRITER DELRAN - Time simply ran out on the St. Joseph dynasty. The Green Knights, winners of a State record-tying seven straight titles, wrote another chapter in the most frustrating season of the Tony Karcich era Friday night, losing to third-seeded Holy Cross, 35-28, at Tom Reilly Stadium. The winning touchdown came with 30.9 seconds remaining, moments after St. Joseph tied the score. "The whole season, man," said senior quarterback Rob Cervini, who was hampered by a finger injury. "We just could never find each other. We just could never click." The loss was the fifth straight for the sixth-seeded Green Knights (4-5), the longest losing streak since Karcich became coach. "We struggled all year," said Karcich, whose team has a chance to salvage a .500 season in two weeks against NNJIL-rival Bergen Catholic. "Friday night we put a lot of that behind us. We gave it our best effort, but we came up short." HOLY CROSS 35 Holy Cross (8-1) looked like it had the game in hand when Rick Ritter ran for an 11 -yard touchdown to give the Lancers a 28-14 lead early in the fourth quarter. But the Green Knights still had some fight left in them. St. Joseph made it 28-21 on a 34-yard touchdown run by senior running back Wayne Drummond with 4:20 remaining, and then stopped Holy Cross on four plays. The Green Knights launched another drive with 2:24 remaining, moving 56 yards in four plays. They tied the game when sophomore running back Brian Donohue scored on a 5-yard run with 1:06 remaining. Just when it looked like overtime was in the offing, everything unraveled for St. Joseph. On third-and-10 from his own 40, quarterback Tom Reilly avoided the St. Joseph rush and ran 42 yards to the Green Knights' 18. On the next play, he lofted an 18-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Luke Wallace, sending the St. Joseph dynasty crashing in a heap. "I just chucked it up there, and he made a great catch," Reilly said. "This is the biggest thing ever. I used to go up to Montvale with my grandpa to see Holy Cross playoff games and we never came close to beating them." St. Joseph got a tremendous effort from senior quarterback Rob Wilk, who spent most of the year as Cervini's backup. Wilk engi neered the second-half comeback, completing 14-of-19 passes for 205 yards. "Losing a playoff game is always hard," Wilk said, "especially with the streak and everything. It's just difficult to lose like this. "This was the best game of my career. It hurts. I have to remember it as a loss." Drummond also had a big game for the Knights, rushing for 132 yards and three touchdowns. The Knights had other chances early in the game, including a lost fumble in the Holy Cross end zone. Smash-mouth win HH gets early lead, hangs on to advance By TIM LEONARD STAFF WRITER HASBROUCK HEIGHTS - Defense may win championships, but the offense has to help the cause. Has-brouck Heights played an aggressive, physical defense against Pascack Hills on Friday night and the offense did just enough to allow the Aviators to advance with a 9-3 victory in the North 1, Group 1 football quarterfinals. No. 4 seed Hasbrouck Heights scored all of its points in the first quarter - and seemed on its way to a rout - but No. 5 seed Pascack Hills dug in and brought some excitement to what, at times, was an ugly game. The Cowboys got the ball back with a little more than two minutes to play and needed to go 90 yards for a potential game-winning touchdown, but the Aviators' defense wasn't about to let that happen. "Our defense really came up big Friday," said Hasbrouck Heights coach Nick Delcalzo, whose team will face the winner of today's Bogota-Cresskill game in the semifinals. "The offense moved the ball in the first half. We hurt ourselves. We needed a big play and didn't get it." But they didn't let Pascack Hills get it, either. The Cowboys got one last chance when the Aviators botched the snap on what would have been a game-clinching 27-yard field goal late in the fourth quarter. The snap was off-line and holder Bobby Kistner made an attempt to improvise, but his pass fell incomplete, which gave the Cowboys the ball at their own 9-yard line. 'That was not a fake," Delcalzo said. ' l! DANIELLE P. RICHARDSSTAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Hasbrouck Heights' Brendan Gareffa (21) getting a step on Pascack Hills' Nick Evans in a North, 1 Group 1 game. "If it would've worked, I would've said it was." But it wasn't and it didn't. Pascack Hills quarterback All Uryni-ak connected with wide receiver Michael Currie, who slipped a tackle and went 30 yards up the left sideline to the 39. But that would be the Cowboys' last hurrah. On fourth-and-2, Dan Avento tried to bull his way through the middle, but got only one of the 2 yards he needed for a first down with 1 :33 on the clock. The Aviators took the opening kickoff and smashed their way down the field, burning 8:14 off the clock in the process. Hasbrouck Heights went 70 yards in 13 plays, with 1 1 of those on the ground, in a textbook example of ball-control offense. Dom D'A-lessandro took an inside handoff and made a nice cut through a hole that sprung him for a 22-yard touchdown run for a 6-0 lead. Quarterback Jamie Pasqualone completed two passes in the drive, the second of which went to Sean Mansfield on a quick slant for 10 yards on fourth-and-7 to set up D'Alessandro's touchdown. "I thought we were going to come out and score a little more. We made stupid penalties and mistakes. Their defense was pretty solid," Brendan Gareffa said. "We knew it wasn't going to be easy again." Giordano calls right play for Clifton By ART STAPLETON STAFF WRITER NORTH BERGEN - The game was on the line and Clifton quarterback Anthony Giordano had the option: run or pass. Twenty-six seconds remained in Friday's North 1, Group 4 playoff opener against top-seeded North Bergen and Giordano had the ball in his hands, 4 yards from the goal line and a stunning upset victory. "It was a run-pass option," Giordano One touchdown defines a season for WH By DAN ROSEN STAFF WRITER WAYNE - Chris Olsen called the drive the defining moment of Wayne Hills' season. At the very least, the Patriots' touch- WAYNE HILLS 37 down drive at the end of the first half was the defining moment of Friday night's 37-7 victory over Old Tappan in the first round of the North 1, Group 3 football playoffs. If the top-seeded Patriots, who are ranked second in The Record's Top 25, continue to dominate the way they did in dismantling No. 19 Old Tappan, there Score stifles 0. Tappan's comeback bid should be a few more defining moments to come over the next three weeks. That stretch begins with Friday's semifinal round game at home against sixth-seeded Passaic Valley. "We had our hopes up that it would be Wayne Valley, and I think they did too," Patriots senior lineman Dave Ogden said. "But it's one team at a time. You can't look ahead to anything. If it's Passaic Valley, we're all for it." Before the Patriots could get into analyzing anything about the Hornets, they all wanted to talk about that season-defining drive. Old Tappan had just sliced its deficit to 14-7, scoring on a halfback pass from Steven Griffin to Mo Ghotok with 1 : 14 to play in the second quarter. It was only the second touchdown scored on the Patriots' first-team defense all season. "Olsen came in the huddle and said, 'A score here is big,' " senior tight end Scott Schultz said. "We needed to retaliate. We needed to come back down and break their backs with a touchdown." It took five plays for the Patriots to go 60 yards for that touchdown. All of 50 seconds came off the clock, and Wayne Hills even withstood a 5-yard illegal motion penalty and a holding call that pushed the ball back 15 yards. Patriots junior quarterback Jeremiah Kayal found Schultz twice on the drive. First he hit him with a 21-yard pass on first down after the holding call. The second was a 22-yarder that ended with Schultz bulling over two defenders and falling into the end zone with 18 seconds left. "That's the difference in the game," Old Tappan coach Brian Dunn said. "If we hold them, it's 14-7 going into halftime and we have a different attitude." On the surface, that touchdown certainly was the difference. Dig deeper, though, and you'll find a defense that bottled up Old Tappan's Wing-T offense. Ghotok, who is averaging more than 100 yards per game, was limited to 38 yards on 10 carries. Junior Jamie Rowe had just 36 yards on 11 carries. That meant the Golden Knights had to pass, and that's exactly what the Patriots were hoping for. Old Tappan junior quarterback Kyle Jansen was 3-for-ll for 26 yards. The Patriots sacked him twice and intercepted two of his passes. Tim Waller had 10 tackles and an interception, and Ogden had nine tackles and a sack. "We wanted them to pass," Olsen said. "Now I don't know if we want next week's team Passaic Valley to pass. I kind of want them to run." Blog: northjersey.comvarsityacesrosen CLIFTON 15 said. "But there was no way I was giving it up." His choice was decisive. The result made Clifton history. Giordano beat two North Bergen defenders around left end, diving away from a tackle near the line of scrimmage for a 4-yard touchdown run, the game-winning score with 20 seconds left in the Mustangs' 15-8 triumph before 1,000 at Bruins Stadium. It was the first playoff win for Clifton since 1979, earning the eighth seed a trip to fourth-seeded Randolph for the semifinal, likely Friday at the Morris County school. Randolph beat Bergen Tech in its opener, 29-0. "Words just can't describe what we're feeling right now," Giordano added. "We're clicking at the right time. Senior tight end Nick Cvetic was covered on the play, but honestly, right from the snap, I knew I was keeping it." Just as he did two weeks ago against Ridgewood with a dive into the end zone on the final play of the game, Giordano set off a raucous Clifton celebration. Sophomore Franklin Duran (13 tackles) put North Bergen away for good, sealing the outcome by forcing a fumble on the ensuing kickoff. Clifton (6-3) now has won three games in a row, all in heart-stopping fashion. "The biggest win you could ever think of," Clifton senior Robert Johnson said. "It's a dream come true, from Junior Mustangs at the youth level to now, at this level doing something like this, it's unbelievable." The game seemed headed for overtime in the final minute with the Clifton offense facing a third-and-9 from the North Bergen 34. That's when the Mustangs went to their bag of tricks, calling for a halfback option pass from Derrick Stroble to Lamar Rodriguez, who hauled in the 29-yard reception with a leaping grab over a North Bergen defender. Giordano put Clifton on top two plays later. North Bergen (7-1) now has dropped its playoff opener in nine consecutive seasons dating back to its last sectional crown in 1997. Clifton limited North Bergen quarterback Evan Rodriguez to 4-of-13 passing for 46 yards. He also rushed 10 times for 8 yards, including a pair of sacks. Blog: www.northjersey.comvarsityacesstapleton

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