HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, NJ - Expectations were high coming into 2013. The offense would be led quarterback Darren Iurato, a two-year starter entering his senior year. Two-way lineman Justin Porzl and Ryan Palladino anchored the lines while Mauro Altamura and Robert Klenk led the defense from the linebacker position.
The schedule would work out the same as the year before, two tests to open the season, at Glen Rock and home to Queen of Peace right off the bat.
The Aviators served notice early that 2013 was going to be their year, manhandling Glen Rock, 38-7. PJ Beety opened the scoring with a 13-yard run and Iurato scored with an 11-yard run to give the Aviators a 14-0 lead at the end of one, as both of Patrick Dowd's extra points were good.
Beety and Iurato hooked up on a 30-yard scoring play early in the second quarter. Mike Incremona and Scott Salerno pounded in goal line runs and the Aviators led, 32-0 at the break.
Incremona added his second touchdown of the day, a 38-yard run, in the third quarter for the Aviators final score. Glen Rock scored a late touchdown in the fourth to avoid the shutout.
The Aviators contest with Queen of Peace Week 2 will be remembered as the “Night the Lights Went Out” as a total stadium blackout right before halftime.
The Golden Griffens had opened the scoring as Kevin Momnohin scored on a two-yard run to give QoP an early 6-0 lead. The Aviators responded, as Iurato hooked up with Robert Klenk on a 26-yard pass tying the score at 6-6. Iurato ran it in for a successful two-point conversion, and an 8-6 lead.
Incremona stretch the lead to 14-6 with a two-yard run in the second quarter, with Salerno rushing in the conversion for a 16-6 lead. But the Golden Griffens bounced back, as Momnohin scored from six-yard to cut the lead to 16-12. Once again, the conversion failed, and the Aviators took the 16-12 lead into the locker room at the half. But not before the lights went out just before halftime.
Several fights took place while the lights were out, which occurred with the Aviators leading 16-12 before halftime. Both teams accused the other of starting the fights, and Aviators defensive lineman Mauro Altmauro suffered a busted nose when he was blindsided in the dark. What exactly happened will never be known, but the game was resumed after a lengthy halftime and played without further incident.
On the opening drive on the second half, Iurato connected with Franklin Garcia on a 49-yard scoring pass down the middle of the QoP defense to extend the lead to 22-12. Iurato kicked the extra point, and the lead was 23-12.
Both defenses took over the rest of the way, and the Aviators had a 2-0 record on the year.
Incremona scored three times as Hasbrouck Heights rolled over North Arlington, 47-0 in Week 3. Sage Scalvino started the scoring off in the first quarter, taking a pass from Iurato 53 yards for the game’s first score, giving the Aviators a 7-0 lead through one quarter.
The second quarter was all Hasbrouck Heights, as the Aviators built a 35-0 lead at halftime. Incremona rushed in from six, and then returned a fumble 70 yards for a touchdown as the Aviators took control. Iurato rushed in from 34 yards, and Beety from 20 yards before halftime.
Incremona added an 85-yard punt return in the third quarter before Seth Scalvino scored in the fourth.
Becton was next, the Wildcats did little to slow down the Aviators offense, as Hasbrouck Heights recorded a 56-20 win in a game that the Aviators actually trailed in at one point.
The first quarter saw a pair of long touchdown passes for Becton be offset by a pair of one-yard scoring runs by Incremona, as the first quarter ended in a 14-14 tie. From that point forward, it was all Hasbrouck Heights, as the Aviators ran off the next 28 points, with Iurato involved in each touchdown.
First, Iurato scored on two long runs, 49 and 55 yards, to put the Aviators up 28-14, before connecting with Beety on a 20 yard scoring play to put the Aviators up 34-14 at the half. Iurato connected with Sage Scalvino on a 13- yard pass in the third quarter before Becton scored again to make the score 42-20. But Steven Salerno scored on a two-yard run and Matt Faussette on a 28-yard run to round out the scoring.
The Aviators returned home to face Emerson, and put up 55 on the scoreboard, en route to 55-9 win over the Cavos. Salerno scored three times for the Aviators, on runs of 10 and 33 yards, and a 33-yard interception return to lead the way. Alex Kensick scored on a 36-yard interception return as the defense accounted for two scores.
Iurato (1 yard), Incremona (38 yards), Beety (15 yards) and Seth Scalvino (74 yards) also had touchdown runs for Hasbrouck Heights as they improved to 5-0.
A trip to Saddle Brook was next, and the Falcons did little to slow down the Aviators, with Hasbrouck Heights rolling to a 49-15 victory to move to 6-0. The Aviators jumped out to a 41-7 halftime lead, behind touchdowns from six different players. Salerno (15 yards), Sage Scalvino (28 yards), Iurato (19 yards), Incremona (2 yards) rushed for scores, while Beety caught a 25 yard pass from Iurato for a score. Altamura scored for the defense, picking up a fumble and returning it 26 yards for a touchdown.
Incremona added a second touchdown in the second half for the final Hasbrouck Heights score.
Beety ran for three touchdowns, Iurato two, as the Aviators improved to 7-0 with a 39-7 win over Waldwick/Midland Park. Beety carried the ball six times for 113 yards, scoring on runs of 51, 26 and five yards. Incremona carried 16 times for 157 yards, and one score, while Iurato carried sixteen times for 92 yards and two scores. Iurato was 7-for-7 passing for 82 yards.
Next up for the Aviators was Palisades Park/Leonia, and the Aviators were efficient, scoring all seven times it had the ball. The only issue was, it took until the Hasbrouck Heights defense until the last drive of the first half to stop Palisade Park/Leonia. That was more than enough as the Aviators defeated the Tigers, 45-21.
Beety started the scoring for the Aviators, on a 40-yard pass play from Iurato, but the kick failed. The Tigers stormed right back and took a lead into the second quarter, 7-6, when they scored their first touchdown. The second quarter was more of the same, as Beety scored again, this time from six yards out, with Iurato hitting Salerno with the conversion to make it 14-7.
Once again, the Tigers stormed back, scoring on a 13-yard pass to tie the score at 14-14. Iurato gave the Aviators the lead, for good, hitting Klenk with a 19 yard pass to make the score 21-14 going into the half. But the Aviators needed a defensive stop as the half ran out to stop the Tigers from re-tying the score.
The second half, the Aviators defense found the solution to the Tigers offense, and behind Iurato’s two touchdown runs (18,1 yard), Salerno’s 6 yarder and Beety’s 88 yarder they finally pulled away, 45-21.
The regular season finale was a trip up to Pompton Lakes, who were 7-1, having lost only to Cresskill in Week 2, and had been on a roll, having scored 112 points in their previous two games (63-0 over Secaucus and 49-0 over Ridgefield.)
The Aviators scored on the first possession of the game, with Iurato breaking free from the pack for a 50 yard touchdown scamper and a 6-0 Hasbrouck Heights lead. Pompton Lakes punched right back, taking a 7-6 lead following quarterback Adam Rayfield’s 15 yard run and a successful extra point.
The Aviators regained the lead with 26 seconds remaining in the first half, as Iurato hit Beety with a 15 yard pass, and then connected with Salerno for the two-point conversion and a 14-7 lead going into halftime.
Iurato stuck again in the third quarter, as he hit Garcia for a 63-yard touchdown strike and a 21-7 through three quarters. But as important as the offense was, the defense was coming uo with big plays and keeping the Cardinals offense off the board.
When Incremona scored early in the fourth to put the Aviators up 28-7, the game seemed in hand. But Pompton Lakes was not done, yet. When Pompton Lakes quarterback Adam Rayford hit brother Drew with a touchdown pass, to cut the lead to 28-14, the Cardinals had a little life left with 3:38 remaining in the game.
Pompton Lakes recovered the ensuing onside kick, and scored on Adam Rayford run just 34 seconds later, the Cardinals were within seven with three minutes remaining. But, the rally would end there, and the Aviators finished the regular season a perfect 9-0.
First up for Hasbrouck Heights was #8 seed Hopatcong, who threw a huge scare into the Aviators. Hoptacong lead 27-13 at the half, as Iurato’s two touchdown runs (21, 24 yards) were the only thing that kept the Aviators in the game.
But the Aviators defense adjusted in the second half, shutting out Hopatcong, and the offense roared back, lifting Heights to a 44-27 victory. Incremona’s 15 yard scoring run in the third quarter cut the lead to 27-21, but for the first time all year, the Aviators trailed going into the fourth quarter.
Salerno’s seven yard touchdown tied the game and the successful two-point conversion - Klenk from Iurato gave Hasbrouck Heights the lead for the first time since the first quarter, 29-27. Kensik scored from five yards out, with Incremona running in the conversion to give the Aviators some breathing room. Sage Salvino returned an interception 31 yards for the game’s final points.
Cedar Grove was next, led by current Cleveland Browns tight end David Njoko, and the two schools had a history, with Cedar Grove knocking the Aviators out of the playoffs the season before. 27-24 in Cedar Grove.
It was a game that was not for the faint of heart.
Iurato opened the scoring with a 10-yard run for an early 7-0 lead following Justin Porzl extra point. Cedar Grove would storm back and take the lead, when quarterback Joe Slattery scored from 18 yards, and then converted the two point conversion for an 8-7 lead. The Aviators answered, with Incermona scoring from eight yards out for a 14-8 lead after one quarter.
Slattery would tie the game in the second quarter, rushing in from one yard out. But the conversion fell short and the score remained tied at 14-14. Iurato, however, would answer with his second touchdown of the game, giving the Aviators a 21-14 lead going to the half.
Incremona upped the lead to 28-14, when he scored on a 14-yard early in the third quarter. But Cedar Grove answered quickly, as Slattery hit receiver Thomas Cucuzza with a 92-yard pass and run. The conversion failed, and the Aviators led 28-20.
The Aviators attempted to put the game away in the fourth, grinding out a long drive and chewing up most of the fourth quarter. On fourth and goal at the one, Iurato tried a quarterback sneak that was ruled short of a touchdown that would put the game away.
Cedar Grove struck while everyone in the crowd was grousing about the call on the goal line, hitting Njoko on a tight end crossing pattern for a 99-yard touchdown. In a matter of moments it went from a chance to put the game out of reach, to needing a defensive stop to keep the score from being tied.
The Panthers tried for two going with Slattery on a read-option. He stretched the ball out at the goal line, but the same officials who ruled Iurato short of scoring, ruled that he did not make the end zone. The Aviators led 28-26.
Hasbrouck Heights tried to run the clock out, but came down to a fourth and one, with a little over a minute remaining. Hasbrouck Heights head coach Nick Delcalzo rolled the dice, going for it on fourth down rather than punting it away, and called for a swing pass to Salerno out of the backfield. It was only the second pass of the game for the Aviators, but it connected, good for 14 yards, a first down, and the victory. MetLife was next, to take on Pompton Lakes one more time.
The weather for the Hasbrouck Heights vs Pompton Lakes could be described by only one word, miserable. Cold, windy and rainy, it made for a miserable night of watching for anyone in the stands.
While Hasbrouck Heights came into the game having survived two battles, Pompton Lakes had rebounded from their end of season loss to the Aviators by thumping New Milford (55-14) and Verona (47-7) There was little doubt that the top two teams in North 1, Group 1, were playing.
Unlike the first time the team’s had met, this time Pompton Lakes jumped out early, scoring two early touchdowns as the Adam Rayford threw touchdowns, one a spectacular catch by his twin brother Drew, to build an early 14-0 lead. The Cardinals lead grew to 20-0 when the Rayford twins hooked up in the third quarter, on a 28-yard scoring play.
Hasbrouck Heights cut into the in third quarter, when Iurato scored on a 10-yard run, with Porzl’s kick making the score 20-7.
Incremona scored with a little over a minute left to give the Aviators hope for a last gasp. But the Cardinals recovered the onside kick, and were able to run out the clock for a 20-14 victory.
First Team All-County honors were awarded to Porzl (DL). Altamura (LB), Iurato (QB) and Ryan Palladino (T) were named Second Team All-County. Beety (TE), Patrick Dowd (DL), Incremona (RB), Sage Scalvino (DB), Chris Verdi (OL) were named First Team All NJIC Meadowlands. Dmitri Forde (OL), Garcia (WR), Kensik (DB), Klenk (LB), Nate Onorato (DL), and Salerno (RB) were named to the Second Team All-NJIC Meadowlands.
|1||Josh Hanrahan||MLB, RB||So.|
|1||Robert Klenk (C)||RB, MLB||Sr.|
|2||Mike Incremona||TB, OLB||Sr.|
|3||Matt Fausette||QB, CB||Jr.|
|4||Pj Beety||TE, DE||Sr.|
|5||Alex Kensik||WR, CB||Sr.|
|5||James Pikowski||QB, CB||So.|
|6||Franklin Garcia||SE, CB||Jr.|
|7||Anthony Stefanelli||SE, CB||Jr.|
|10||Jawan Carew||SE, DB||Jr.|
|10||Darren Iurato (C)||QB, S||Sr.|
|12||Sage Scalvino||HB, CB||Sr.|
|13||Justin Baldera-Sanchez||DB, WR||So.|
|19||Melvin Tejada||CB, G||So.|
|20||Anthony Tolentino||RB, CB||Jr.|
|23||Christian Sanchez||CB, SE||Jr.|
|23||Seth Scalvino||CB, RB||So.|
|25||Brian Moran||RB, OLB||So.|
|32||Pat Dowd||TE, DE||Sr.|
|40||Michael Thorpe||RB, OLB||So.|
|44||Steven Salerno||FB, ILB||Jr.|
|45||Devin Pinet||FB, MLB||Jr.|
|51||Nate Onorato||G, NG||Jr.|
|54||Paul Richmond Calinog||G, DT||Jr.|
|55||Dimitri Forde||G, DL||Sr.|
|56||Chris Verdi||G, DT||Sr.|
|58||Mauro Altamura||T, MLB||Jr.|
|59||Mark Hofmann||OL, DL||Sr.|
|61||Jack Lalko||G, DL||Jr.|
|63||Elwin Miranda||G, DL||Jr.|
|64||Eric Salas||DT, OT||So.|
|67||Justin Porzl (C)||T, DE||Sr.|
|68||Matt Polizzotti||G, NG||So.|
|70||Ryan Palladino (C)||OL, DT||Sr.|
|74||Scott Salerno||DT, OT||So.|
|Dylan Auriemma||CB, WR||Fr.|
|Sean O'malley||T, DT||Fr.|
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