HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, NJ - Hasbrouck Heights scored every time it had the ball and shut down the Saddle Brook offense, as it clinched the North Jersey Interscholastic Conference Meadowlands Division title for the second straight year with a 55-13 victory Friday night at Depken Field in Hasbrouck Heights.
The Aviators took just a little over three minutes to get on the board, as Purdie scored from seven yards out. Matthew Gwziszc, who was perfect kicking the ball on the evening, converted the extra point for a 7-0 lead.
Following a three-and-out by the Falcons offense, the Aviators wasted no time in jumping out to a 14-0 lead. Quarterback James Klenk hit JC Pagan with a 39-yard pass down the middle of the field for a touchdown with 6:06 left in the first quarter.
Saddle Brook tried to make it a game, cutting the lead to 14-6 as Kevin Daly hit Dante Guzman with a 58-yard pass and run as he snuck behind the Aviator defense on a play-action pass. A bad snap made the conversion no good, as Daly was tackled as he tried to scramble to the end zone.
Heights responded immediately, as Klenk hit Purdie for 50 yards down the right sideline on the first play following the kickoff. Purdie punched it in from a yard away three plays later and the lead was 21-6 with five seconds remaining in the first quarter.
The next Heights possession was Klenk's time to make the big play, as he took a quarterback keeper 45 yards for a touchdown and a 28-6 lead with 7:45 left in the first half.
Following a defensive stand, which gave the Aviators the ball on the Saddle Brook 45 with 2:55 remaining in the half, the Aviators attacked quickly. Klenk to Zai'heer Jenkins for 31 set the drive in motion. Nico Facchini took it the rest of the way, scoring from seven yards out to give Heights a 34-6 lead at the half.
The Aviators first drive of the second half saw Klenk hit a pair of unlikely receivers. On the first play of the drive, he hit tight end Anthony Marino for 12 yards and a first down. Two plays later, Klenk hit fullback Jordan Wexler with a shovel pass for a 17-yard touchdown pass and a 40-6 lead.
Following a punt to the Heights 46, sophomore tailback Michael Robertson took over as he carried three times for 54 yards, including a 43-yard touchdown and a 48-6 lead with 1:41 remaining in the third quarter.
The final Aviator score came with six minutes remaining in the game, as sophomore quarterback Spencer Lee scored from seven yards out. Gwziszc's seventh extra point of the game made the score 55-6.
Saddle Brook scored on the game's final play, as Chris Curry went around the right side of the defense for an 85-yard touchdown.
"It is a nice accomplishment, " said head coach Nick Delcalzo when asked about the team second staight division championship. "It is a good thing. But we still have to prepare for the rest of our games, one at time, so we get to where we want to at the end of the year,"
NOTES: Klenk was perfect on the night passing, going 9-for-9 for 192 yards and 2 TDs. He also rushed twice for 53 yards and a touchdown. Purdie caught three for 88 yards, carried four times for 42 yards and two touchdowns. Robertson rushed for 62 yards on five carries, with his first touchdown of the year. Facchini had 60 yards on 10 carries and a touchdown. Wexler had two catches for 21 yards. In addition to being 7-for7 on kicked extra points (a bad snap was never kicked on the other score.)Gwziszc had four of his kickoffs go into the end zone for touchbacks.