ORANGE/NUTLEY, NJ - The battle between Orange and Nutley was a reminder of why America loves football. The Orange Tornados put up a fight at the away game on Nutley's new turf, a stadium facility called the Oval, before losing by just one point.
Junior quarterback Matt Harbison scored on 1-yard keeper and Anthony Haines added the extra point with 56 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter as Nutley earned a dramatic 21-20 victory over Orange on Saturday afternoon.
The Nutley Maroon Raiders defense came up huge later in the final minute as junior Vincent Miller added an interception and senior teammate Jordan Defalco sacked the Orange quarterback on the final play of the game. "It was just a great game between two teams just duking it out," said Nutley head coach Steve DiGregorio. "Orange is a very good team, and we were able to come out one point ahead."
Nutley took a 7-0 lead when Miller hauled in a 37-yard touchdown pass from Harbison in the first quarter.
Orange (1-2) answered as Louce Julien caught a 10-yard touchdown pass from Edwin Thomas later in the opening period.
John Coppola, who rushed 11 times for 90 yards, then put Nutley ahead again when he scored on a 4-yard touchdown run. That lead lasted through halftime until Montez Boswell scored on a 27-yard touchdown run and Julien's extra point in the third quarter. Boswell finished with 101 yards on 15 carries to lead the Tornadoes' rushing attack.
Orange took its first lead of the afternoon when Boswell connected with Julien on a 37-yard touchdown pass. The extra point was blocked by Nutley senior Bill Searle, however, leaving Orange with just a six-point lead and 5:28 remaining in the fourth quarter.
After Harbison's go-ahead touchdown, Orange took possession but Miller came up with an interception. Orange again regained possession in the final seconds but Defalco recorded a sack at the final buzzer.
"Our secondary did a good job for us," said DiGregorio. "Mike Latore had a fumble recovery and Brandon Lucia also had an interception."
Miller finished with 80 yards on three catches while senior Gennaro Longobardi rushed for 61 yards on nine carries. Harbison completed 5-of-17 passes for 64 yards and also ran for 48 yards on 17 carries.
Written for Nutley Tapinto with edits made for Orange specific news.
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