NJIC Playoff Preview: Hasbrouck Heights at Wallington


WHAT:  Hasbrouck Heights travels to Wallington in the first round of the NJIC Playoffs.  Game time is 7 pm.

RECORDS:  Both Hasbrouck Heights and Wallington are 6-0.  Wallington was this year's surprise team, going undefeated in the Patriot after being 3-6 in 2016.  Hasbrouck Heights snuck up on no one, as the reigning North 1, Group 1 champions were mentioned as a potential top seed in the state playoffs once again. 


Offense - The two players to watch on offense for the Aviators are quarterback James Klenk and flanker Jasiah Purdie.  Klenk led the team in passing and rushing in 2017, while Purdie led in receptions and finished third in rushing.  Plus he scored a touchdown as a punt returner and as a kick returner. If he gets his hands on the ball, he is a threat to score.

Sign Up for E-News

Defense - The Aviator defense is underlooked due to the explosive nature of the offense.  But ask Cresskill and Hawthorne how could they can be.  Watch the game from the field, and you can hear the hitting from the likes of James Varga and Travis Culkin inside on defense, and Jordan Wexler has a knack for making sacks, recovering fumbles, and just causing mayhem.  Purdie and Klenk are ballhawks on defense when it is in the air. 

Intangibles -  The leg of Matthew Gwziszc is a weapon for Heights.  In his first year of football, the junior has eight touchbacks, five in the past two weeks, and is 18-of-20 on extra points.


Offense -  The star attraction is fullback Elijah Mitchell.  At 5-10, 228, he is too big to arm tackle.  The Panthers rode him to 862 yards this season, as he averaged 29.5 carries a game for 4.9 yards a pop and scored eight touchdowns.  Junior quarterback David Backo throws well enough that the passing game cannot be an afterthought, completing 58 percent of his passes for 110 yards per game.  

Defense - The Panthers leading tacklers are defensive backs Will Delgado and Charles Fischetto.  Outside linebacker Patrick Kaczor had six sacks, two fumbles forced and recovered, and an interception. 

Intangibles - Wallington is playing with house money, as no one expected them to be here.  Sometimes teams that come out of nowhere are the most dangerous.  One thing to keep in mind, the Panthers struggled with winless Bogota in Week 6, being tied going into the fourth quarter before pulling out a 37-28 victory.

The biggest intangible might be that the game is in Wallington, which has a cozy home field, and will be packed.  

WHAT'S NEXT - The winner gets the winner of the Rutherford at New Milford game.  The loser, gets the loser.   Since New Milford is first, Wallington second and Hasbrouck Heights third in power points in the North 1, Group 1 rankings, every game will count.  Week 8 will not be just a consolation round game.


TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Hasbrouck Heights/Wood-Ridge/Teterboro

'Diggin' It' at Belmar's Annual Sandcastle Contest

July 19, 2018

BELMAR, NJ — Belmar’s 18th Avenue beach turned into a giant sandbox for the hundreds of participants in Wednesday's 32nd Annual Sandcastle Contest.

As thousands of spectators crowded around to watch the building process unfold on July 18, sand sculptors of all ages took their pails, shovels, spray bottles and other tools — and tricks —  of the trade to ...

Festival of the Sea at St. Francis in Brant Beach August 8-12

BRANT BEACH, NJ - Everyone enjoys the excitement of a summer carnival.  It brings out the child in all of us.  Since 1975, St. Francis of Assisi Parish has been hosting the Festival of the Sea Carnival, annually.   The Festival of the Sea begins Wednesday, August 8, and continues through Sunday, August 12. The carnival will be open nightly (weather permitting) from 6:00 ...

Belmar Five Mile Run: 42-Year Racing Tradition to Continue Along Oceanfront on July 14

An evening of kids races, culminating with fireworks on the beach, will be held on July 13.

BELMAR, NJ — The 42nd annual Belmar Five Mile Run will be held on Saturday morning, July 14, beginning at Silver Lake Park.

Billed as one of the longest-running road races on the Jersey Shore, the run is presented by Belmar’s Goodwill Hose Company, in conjunction with the Borough of ...

Belmar Parasail: Soar Into Summer with a High-Flying Adventure Along the Beachfront

July 15, 2018

BELMAR, NJ — As Belmar finally basks in picture-perfect weather, it may be time to check off a summer activity on your bucket list. And for many, parasailing is one of those “must-do” experiences.

At Belmar Parasail, the season is in full swing, offering boat trips from the Belmar Manutti Marina to the beachfront where passengers are lifted 500 feet above the Atlantic Ocean ...

Morristown Happenings: Things to Do in Morristown This Weekend; July 13 - 15

MORRISTOWN, NJ - Jump for's the weekend! Don't let Friday the 13th scare you away, there are lots of fun things to do in and around town this weekend! Have a great weekend everyone!


Friday July 13

Spirit Animals Glassblowing Class; Morris County School of Glass; 9am - 11am

Mini Summer Camp: Woodsy Walkers; Great Swamp (Chatham); 10am - 11:30am

Tyke ...

Take the 2018 TAPinto Reader Survey

July 12, 2018

How often do you read TAPinto?  Have you downloaded the TAPinto APP?  These are a few of the questions for readers in our 2018 TAPinto Reader Survey.

We want to hear from you!

The survey will take less than five minutes to complete and will help TAPinto better serve you. 

Take the 2018 TAPinto Reader Survey.

Thank you.  We appreciate your support and ...

3rd Annual Meadowlands BBQ Battle a Smokin’ Success

July 19, 2018

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Seven competitors battled it out at Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment's 3rd Annual BBQ Battle on Saturday, July 14, all vying for $2,000 in prizes and most importantly, bragging rights. 

The BBQ categories of best Ribs, Brisket, Chicken, and Pulled Pork, came with a $500 prize to the winner of each category. A panel of five judges conducted a blind ...

Westfield GSP Raises over $17K to benefit Paramus Children's Health Foundation, East Brook Crash Victims

PARAMUS, NJ -- On June 20, 2018, Westfield Garden State Plaza’s retailers and restaurants participated in the mall-wide initiative Shop & Dine For A Cause by donating funds and a percentage of their sales for the day to support the victims and families of the East Brook school bus crash that claimed two lives and left dozens injured. The total amount raised ...

Turtle Back Zoo Extends Hours, Holds 'Zoo-vie' Nights for Summer

July 18, 2018

WEST ORANGE, NJ — Essex County Turtle Back Zoo will have Family Nights with extended evening hours to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays during the months of July and August, with the last admission to the zoo at 8 p.m.

In addition, on Wednesday evenings during July and August, Zoo-vies, featuring animal-related movies, will be shown on the top floor of the Turtle Back Zoo ...

PATH's 33rd Street Line Will Close This Weekend for PTC Installation

NEW YORK, NY -- PATH is closing the New York stations on the 33rd Street line to allow crews to transition to a new signal system being installed as part of the federally mandated Positive Train Control (PTC) program, starting this Friday, July 13, at 11:59 p.m. and running through 5 a.m. Monday, July 16, 

The weekend PTC implementation and testing program will run through the end of ...

Geoffrey the Giraffe Moves In To New Brunswick Children's Hospital

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Over a stretch of nearly 70 years, Geoffrey the Giraffe at Toys R Us stores was the symbol of happy times for generations of children, and now he may provide those same feelings for children coming to a hospital.

"From this day forward, Geoffrey stands tall in our lobby to encourage our smallest patients to smile when they enter our facilities," said John ...

Presbyterian Church Steeple, a Roxbury Landmark, Gets Overdue Attention

ROXBURY, NJ - The long-sought restoration of the iconic, but decaying steeple atop the First Presbyterian Church of Succasunna is underway.

Using a massive hydraulic boom lift, workers from Main Street Custom Homes and Remodeling of Succasunna, got a close-up look today at the 165-year-old structure. The company, headquartered a few doors away, is volunteering the project management ...

5 Simple Ways to Save Water this Summer

According to the L.A. Times, the average American uses an estimated 98 gallons of water EACH day.  

Here are five simple ways you can save water, to help you conserve water this summer and take some pressure off of your drains.

1. Unless you are using it, turn the faucet off. How many of us still leave the water running while we shave or brush our teeth?According to ...