Sports

MFL SUPER BOWL: Wood-Ridge Juniors Drops a Heart-breaker, 19-18

67dabe9db815dfc94968_EDIT_JUNIORS_WR_game_capts.jpg
Wood-Ridge Blue Devils game captains (5) Mike Marchitelli, (15) James Mascucci, (22) Antonio Loyola and (31) Josh Rodriguez go out for the coin toss. Credits: Faith C. Ballantine-Armonaitis
009396d7da8d6cb63dbe_EDIT_JUNIORS_WR_banner.jpg
Wood-Ridge Junior Cheerleaders hold the team banner. Credits: Faith C. Ballantine-Armonaitis
68e46e123f27e8b89c1b_EDIT_JUNIORS_WR_42_td_run.jpg
Wood-Ridge's Sal Catanzaro takes the ball to the endzone early in the first quarter. Credits: Faith C. Ballantine-Armonaitis
4fc279c51194d5305b9c_EDIT_JUNIORS_WR_31_run.jpg
Josh Rodriquez carries for Wood-Ridge in Saturday night's Super Bowl. Credits: Faith Armonaitis
2553dac0b78e3a1e1580_EDIT_JUNIORS_WR_85_rushes_qb.jpg
Wood-Ridge defensive linemen Ryan George rushes Rutherford quarterback in Saturday evening's Super Bowl. Credits: Faith Armonaitis
67dabe9db815dfc94968_EDIT_JUNIORS_WR_game_capts.jpg

NORTH ARLINGTON, NJ --  The Blue Devils run to a Meadowland Football League Junior Division Super Bowl title came up a point short, as Wood-Ridge lost to Rutherford 19-18 in the rain in North Arlington Saturday night.  The Northern Division playoff champions end the season 8-3.

Early, it looked like it would be Wood-Ridge’s night, as Sal Catanzaro scored on a 43-yard run less than a minute into the game to give Wood-Ridge a 6-0 lead.  The Bulldogs were able to stop Wood-Ridge on the conversion, something which would prove important by the end of the game.  

Rutherford’s David Rojas scored with 3:25 remaining in the first quarter to tie the game at 6-6.  Most of the drive, however, was the handiwork of Cole Gumas, who at one point carried eight straight times on the drive.

Sign Up for E-News

The game remained tied at 6-6 deep into the second quarter, setting up a wild final 4:32 of the first half.

Gumas continued to hammer Wood-Ridge again carrying the ball on seven straight carries.  But a counter to Matt Sceibe caught the Blue Devils off-balance, and the Bulldogs took their first lead of the night 12-6.

It looked like Rutherford was going to get a chance to run away with the game, when Wood-Ridge fumbled the ball back to the Bulldogs with less than two minutes to play. But the Wood-Ridge defense came up big, and Antonio Loyola intercepted a ball with less than a minute left, stopping the Bulldogs threat. Loyola’s return to the Rutherford 27 gave the ball to the Blue Devils with 25.3 seconds left.

Catanzaro shook free around end on the first play, gaining 23 yard, setting up the Blue Devils with a first and goal from the four.  The next play, he once again was able to get around and rush around the Bulldogs defense, tying the game at 12-12.  Once again, the Bulldogs were able to stop the extra point, and the game went into halftime tied.

Rutherford came out of halftime unsettled taking two false starts within the first three plays of the third quarter.  But Gumas once again bailed out the Bulldogs, rushing for 48 yards to get the Bulldogs inside the five.  With Gumas once again the focus of the Wood-Ridge defense, Sceibe was able once again get into the end zone, and when Gumas scored on the conversion, Rutherford had a 19-12 lead.

Wood-Ridge got the ball back and moved the ball quickly down the field as Josh Rodriguez and Loyola, moved the ball into Rutherford territory.  But the Bulldog defense stiffened inside the 20, and on fourth and seven, stopped the Wood-Ridge offense for an 11-yard loss, taking over on downs deep in their own territory.  

But following an initial first down, the Bulldogs fumbled, and Wood-Ridge was back on offense with 27.3 seconds left in the third quarter.   Two plays later, Catanzaro scored his third touchdown of the night, from 34 yards, cutting the lead to 19-18.  But Rutherford defense stiffened, and Wood-Ridge’s third point after conversion of the evening failed.

The next Rutherford possession was one of some controversy, as it appeared the Bulldogs were the victim of referee error.  Following a rushing on first down that was nullified by a penalty, the Bulldogs were backed up 10 yards, but somehow lost the down as well as the yardage.

On what should been third down and 18 (which was on the scoreboard), the referees indicated it was fourth down, and after a brief protest Rutherford punted the ball to the Wood-Ridge 40.

A run by Rodriguez, followed by a facemasking call against Rutherford, moved the ball into Bulldog territory.  Three more runs by Rodriquez, moved the ball inside the Rutherford 10  Once again, Rutherford’s defense was able to stop the Blue Devils, and following an incomplete pass on fourth down, the Bulldogs has the ball with 3:51 on their own 15.

The Bulldogs offensive line then was able to help Rutherford run out the clock.  With the Blue Devils keying on Gumas, Sceibe came through with successive runs of 45 yards and 12,  The Bulldogs were able to punch the ball inside the 10 with a minute left, but with no timeouts left for Wood-Ridge, Rutherford was able to go into victory formation.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Hasbrouck Heights/Wood-Ridge/Teterboro

Food to Travel For - Two Jersey Shore Dining Hot Spots in National Limelight for Specialty Eats

May 12, 2018

BELMAR, NJ — Two Belmar specialty eateries have made the national food-hopping map. Coney Waffle Ice Cream and Sweet Shop on Ocean Avenue and Hoagitos in Belmar Plaza are featured this month on television shows touting what makes them stand out from the rest.

The over-the-top ice cream creations of Coney Waffle are in the spotlight in Viceland’s “The Ice Cream Show” in ...

Vehicular Homicide Charges for Driver of Paramus School Bus

May 24, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ - The driver of a school bus involved in a crash on Route 80 last week that killed two people faces two counts of second-degree vehicular homicide/death by auto, it was announced today.

The driver, Hudy Muldrow, 77, of Woodland Park, attempted to make an illegal U-Turn on the highway in an attempt to find his way to Waterloo Village, the planned destination of the bus that was ...

Mayor LaBarbiera Issues Statement to Grieving Community, #ParamusStrong

PARAMUS, NJ – Thursday evening, Mayor Rich LaBarbiera released the following statement to his community in regards to the horrific accident that affected so many.

"Today, our community was shaken by a horrific accident resulting in two tragic, senseless deaths of a teacher and a student. As a father of three sons, I cannot fathom the level of pain and despair that the family of the ...

Tour of Somerville Weekend: Quarter-Mile Sprints Add High-Speed Dynamic

May 23, 2018

SOMERVILLE, NJ  - The grand daddy of ‘em  all, the 75-year-old Tour of Somerville 50-mile bicycle race, anchors a weekend of world class cycling in Bound Brook and downtown Somerville May 24-28, with a new event added Sunday night to draw more spectators downtown.

Spectators this year will see an additional day of racing beginning with the Bound Brook Criterium on ...

Travels Hero Spotlight - 70-Year-Old Grandfather Completes 1,500-Mile Bicycle Ride from Key West to Morristown

MORRISTOWN, NJ – You are never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream and 70-year-old Morris Township resident Paul Kiczek proved that this weekend as he completed a 1,500-mile bike ride from Key West, FL to his hometown. He was joined by his family at the end of the final leg of his month-long trek and was even joined for the last quarter-mile by his five grandchildren in ...

Port Authority Names New Police Superintendent

NEW YORK, NY The Port Authority named Edward Cetnar – the agency’s Deputy Superintendent of Police since November 2014 – as the new Superintendent of the Port Authority Police Department, in a press release Monday afternoon.

Cetnar replaces Michael Fedorko, who announced his retirement last week after serving as Port Authority Police superintendent since 2009.

In his ...

Funnel Cloud Appears over South Plainfield

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - A line of heavy thunderstorms roared through South Plainfield Tuesday evening with a resident capturing a funnel cloud twisting down west and north of Spring Lake Park. The photo captures the funnel cloud which can be seen in the  left-hand side of the photo.

The photo captures a school bus driving by, and the South Plainfield Volunteer Fire Department ...