MILLBURN, NJ - After a tough eight-point loss to start the year against rival Livingston, the Millburn Millers suffered a more bitter defeat on Friday night, losing to Nutley by 18 points, 31-13.
The Millers could not find an answer all night for the Nutley offense, which seemed to run up and down the field at will. Millburn gave up 428 yards of offense to the Maroon Raiders as they were only able to force one turnover and one punt. If it were not for Nutley failing on four two-point conversions while also missing a 27-yard field goal, the final score could have been even worse.
Louis Meggiolaro was the star of the game for Nutley as he ran the ball for 156 yards on ten carries while scoring three touchdowns. Two of those came on the ground while another came on a seventy-five-yard punt return.
Millburn’s Alex Schoen was able to best Meggiolaro in the second half, however, as he broke off an eighty-yard kick off return of his own, which accounted for one of Millburn’s two scores. That touchdown cut Nutley’s lead to 19-13, seemingly providing the Millers with momentum to start the second half. Yet, the Millers would concede two more touchdowns while being shut out the rest of the way.
Millburn’s other touchdown came on a twenty-two-yard pass from senior quarterback Ryan Bednarski to senior wideout Tim Swanson. Bednarski played well for the majority of the game, going 9/18 for fifty-five yards, one touchdown, and no interceptions. Swanson had three catches for forty-eight yards and a score, as he provided Millburn with its only real big-play threat throughout most of the game.
After the game, Millburn Coach Carmen Guarino told The Alternative Press: “I need guys to run on offense and defense. We played almost three quarters of football today but we need to play four to win a football game. Next week we are going to play a good football team. Now, we need to find out if we lay over or step it up.”
With the win, Nutley improved to 3-0 on the season with a plus forty-nine point differential in their games thus far. On the other hand, Millburn stands at 0-2 with a minus twenty-six point spread through its first two games. Most alarmingly, Millburn has given up over thirty points in each of its first two contests.
Millburn was hammered in the running game in both contests and will need to do much better on the ground if it expects to beat West Essex next week. That game will be at Millburn High School on Friday, October 1st at 7 p.m.