WOOD-RIDGE, NJ - Hasbrouck Heights swept Wood-Ridge in a Meadowlands Football League action Saturday night at Donna Ricker Field in Wood-Ridge. It was a matchup of Northern Division teams that playoff implications at two levels of play.
Heights Seniors Shut Out Wood-Ridge, 20-0
Quarterback Jake Diaz scored all 20 points as the Aviators shut out the Blue Devils in Seniors action.
Wood-Ridge dominated the ball most of the first quarter, running 11 plays and holding the ball for eight minutes, moving the ball from the Wood-Ridge 48 to the Heights 20-yard line. But on first and 10 at the 20, Aviator defensive linemen Trey Armonaitis and Kevin Campen stuffed Wood-Ridge running back Isaiah Walker for no gain.
Following a two yard gain, an illegal motion penalty set the Blue Devils back to third down and 13, Hunter Freschi and the left side of the line tackled Wood-Ridge quarterback Anthony Iacovino for a five-yard loss, setting up fourth and 18. Iacovino’s pass downfield fell incomplete, and Heights took over on downs at the 32.
Wood-Ridge’s defense came out strong after the change of possession, as Justin Robinson stopped Anthony DiLascio for a three-yard loss on first down. Facing a third-and-nine, the Blue Devils shut down Diaz, setting up a fourth and seven at the 34.
Going for it on fourth down, Diaz kept the ball and went 66 yards on a quarterback keeper for a 6-0 lead on the last play of the first quarter. The conversion was no good, as Diaz kick was blocked as the quarter ended.
After a three-and-out to start the second quarter, Heights went on its first extended drive of the game, chewing up most of the rest of the half.
Wood-Ridge was focused on stopping DiLascio, but Diaz was able to shake free on a few runs to keep the drive moving. Freschi picked up a first down as the Aviator offensive line started to wear down the Blue Devils defense. On second-and-five at the 16, Diaz went 14 yards down to the two-yard line, and then scored on a quarterback bootleg around the left side of a 12-0 lead with a little more than a minute remaining in the first half.
Once again, the conversion was blocked.
Wood-Ridge tried to mount a last-minute drive but Iacovino’s pass was intercepted by Robert Boscarino on the last play of the first half, and Aviators took a 12-0 lead into halftime.
Back on offense to start the third quarter, the Aviators marched down the field. Diaz carried five times, including the final eight yards to give Heights and 18-0 lead. Diaz’s kick was good, and Heights had a 20-0 lead with three minutes remaining.
Wood-Ridge went into hurry-up following the score, since any game with a point differential of three touchdowns or more going into the fourth quarter is declared over. After a 32-yard pass from Iacovino to Michael Sarlo, the Aviator defense stiffened. On third and five, Boscarino came up with his second interception, ended any hopes for a Blue Devils victory.
Junior Aviators Grind Out a 16-6 Victory
After an explosive offensive performance last week against Rutherford, it was the defense that keyed the Junior Aviators win over Wood-Ridge Saturday night.
But it was Wood-Ridge’s defense that came up big to start the game, as the Blue Devils defense came up with a goal line stand following a long pass play from Heights quarterback Donovan Auriemma to Jake Summers moved the ball 34 yards down to the nine-yard line. Frankie Billings got the ball down to the one, but on two successful plays, the Aviators could not punch the ball through for a score, giving the Blue Devils the ball at their own one-yard line.
On second down at the two, the Aviator defensive line sacked Wood-Ridge quarterback James Mascucci in the end zone for a safety and 2-0 lead. The Aviators were also able to take advantage of good field position from the free kick that followed. Billings carried the bulk of the load, covering the 34 yards on six carries, to get a 8-0 lead with 2:35 remaining in the half.
Auriemma hit Summers again, this time for the point after conversion, and a 9-0 lead.
Heights increased its lead to 16-0 early in the thirds quarter, as Auriemma went 9-yards at the end of 56-yard drive for the lead. He also ran for the extra point and a 16-0 lead.
Wood-Ridge offense bounced back, as running back Josh Harris broke loose for a 52-yard run to cut the lead to 16-6. The point after failed.
The fourth quarter saw Heights squash a late rally as Christopher Weaver intercepted a ball with less the three minutes remaining and the Blue Devils offense driving. The Aviators were able to run out the clock for the 16-6 victory.
Heights Pee-Wees Cruise, 33-0
Michael Napolitano had three touchdowns, and Jalil Baldwin two, as Hasbrouck Heights rolled to a 33-0 victory over Wood-Ridge at the Pee-Wee level. The Aviators led 26-0 at the half.
NOTES: With the wins, Hasbrouck Heights Senior and Junior Aviators both improved to 5-0 going into next weekend’s games with Manchester. The Pee Wee Aviators improved to 4-1. The losses dropped Wood-Ridge to 3-2 at the Senior and Junior level, and 2-3 at the Pee Wee level.