HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, NJ - The night got better as the sun went down and the lights came on, as the Hasbrouck Heights Junior Football League Aviators won two of their three scheduled games against Manchester Saturday evening at Depken Field in Hasbrouck Heights.
Jake Summers rumbled for a 20 yard gain on the first play from scrimmage for the Aviators, only to see it called back for holding. On the next play, he went for 34 yards and a touchdown as the Aviators were off to the races in defeating Manchester 32-0 in the Seniors Division game.
George Kouletas kicked the first of his four extra points to give the Aviators an 8-0 lead. (Extra points kicked in Meadowland Football are worth two points, pass/runs are worth one point.)
Joey Formisano intercepted a Falcons pass and Frankie Billings dashed 35 yards for a 14-0 lead, with Kouletas extending the lead to 16-0 right before the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter saw the Aviators get their hands on another punt. This time it took just one play, as Donovan Auriemma hit Billings with a pass. Billings went 17 yards for a touchdown. Kouletas kick made the score 24-0 with more than half the second quarter remaining.
Formisano put an end to the scoring with a 45-yard run late in the second quarter, with Kouletas adding his fourth extra point of the night.
The Aviators improved to 2-1 with the win.
Timely defense was the key, as Hasbrouck Heights defeated Manchester 13-12 in a Junior Division game.
The Aviators broke onto the scoreboard first, as Hasbrouck Heights relied on the running of Jalil Baldwin to chew up most of the first quarter with a scoring drive. Baldwin powered in from one yard out for a 6-0 lead with 1:26 remaining in the quarter.
It did not take long for Manchester to score however, scoring on a long 65-yard run on the first play of the second quarter and a 6-6 tie.
The Aviators bounced right back, again with Baldwin, joined by Michael Napolitano controlling the ball on the ground. Baldwin scored his second touchdown of the game to make the score 12-6 with 2:55 remaining in the half. He was able to score an important conversion, to bring the lead to 13-6.
Manchester’s end of half rally was stopped on a fumble by the Manchester quarterback on the last play of the half.
Manchester took the opening kick of the second half and controlled the ball the entire third quarter, with a slow deliberate drive down the field, that had no passes, and two fourth down conversions. The second conversion, with 8:13 remaining in the fourth quarter, was a five-yard touchdown run, and cut the lead to 13-12. The Aviators defense held.
Hasbrouck Heights recovered the ensuing onside kick, and were not able to generate any offense, turning the ball over to Manchester with four minutes remaining. But the Aviator defense was able to hold, including two last gasp passes towards the goal line in the final 10 seconds of the game, giving the Aviators a 13-12 win.
The Aviators improved to 3-0 with the win.
Manchester’s offense was just too strong for the Aviators defense, as the Falcons won the opener of the evening’s game with a 26-6 win over Heights.
Nicholas Leone was star offensively on the day for the Aviators scoring their only touchdown, early in the second quarter, 6-6. The Falcons were able to the shut the Aviators defense down the rest of the way.
The Aviators fall to 2-1 overall.
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