HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, NJ - 2010 brought a new decade, a new league, a new landscape to high school football in Bergen County and Hasbrouck Heights.
The new league was the New Jersey Interscholastic Conference (NJIC.) Hasbrouck Heights joined with members of the BCSL Olympic and National Divisions and members of the Bergen-Passaic Scholastic League (BPSL. This was done as the leagues decided they wanted to keep their current allegiances, and not be part of the state’s shuffling of leagues.
(An explanation of how the NJIC came to be will come at a later time). On to football. The Aviators were placed in Meadowlands B with Saddle Brook, Saint Mary, Wallington and Wood-Ridge.
The Aviators debut in the NJIC Meadowlands B division got off to a rather inauspicious start, as the Aviators were shut out, 21-0 in Saddle Brook. Coming into the game the Falcons had lost 19 of their last 20 games, but held the Aviators to just 19 yards rushing on the day.
Week 2 did not work out better for Hasbrouck Heights, dropping a 22-21 score at St. Mary (Rutherford.) The Aviators, behind touchdown runs by Matt Galassi (48 yards) and Kevin Condal (11 and 73 yards) jumped out to an early 21-0 lead over the Gaels in the second quarter.
St. Mary scored with 18 seconds left in the first half, and then converted on the second of two conversion attempts (the first failed but a roughing the kicker call gave the Gaels a second chance from the one yard line) to make the score 21-8 at the half.
Quadree Hubbard scored twice in the second half, including with 4:47 remaining in the game to give the Gaels the come-from-behind victory.
Galassi finished with 120 yards on 16 carries while Condal had 124 yards on 18 carries.
A win over now-division, but no longer Thanksgiving rival Wood-Ridge snapped the losing skid, as the Aviators defeated the Blue Devils 31-12. Galassi’s 21- yard punt return gave the Aviators an early lead. Quarterback Mike Pikowski hit Galassi for the two-point conversion and an early 8-0 lead.
Wood-Ridge bounced back, scoring on a Parth Patel 2 yard pass from Rich Hennessey to cut the lead to 8-6. Rich Davis increased the lead the Aviators lead to 16-6 following a 20 yard scoring run and Pikowski’s conversion pass to James Fitzsimmons. Anthony Seidel increased the lead to 24-6, scoring on a 5 yard run and then catching the conversion pass from Pikowski.
Davis scored on a 40-yard run for the Aviators final score, while PJ Incramona scored for the Blue Devils.
A trip to Wallington showed the continued improvement of the offense, as the Aviators put up 35 points. The bad news was that was not enough as the Panthers put up 41 for a wild 41-35 victory that observers stated “felt like a playoff game.”
Galassi, who rushed for three scores, finished the day with 170 yards rushing on the ground. Wallington quarterback Charlie Vellis set a Panther’s passing record, throwing for 334 yards. It was a game it seemed, that whoever had the ball last was going to win.
Remarkably, with the Aviators up 35-27 in the fourth quarter, Wallington came up with two interceptions that led to touchdown drives that gave the Panthers the win. Condal, who scored on a pass from Pikowski, was a perfect 5-for-5 on extra points, while Seidel scored touchdowns for the other touchdown for the Aviators. The loss dropped Hasbrouck Heights to 1-3, effectively knocking them from the race for a playoff spot.
If there was the faintest chance for post-season, it was shut down with the Aviators lost to Becton, 34-26, the following week, in another game that was a wild affair. Gallasi opened the scoring with an 80-yard scoring run for the Aviators, and following Condal’s kick, the Aviators led, 7-0.
Becton then scored 28 unanswered points, to take a commanding lead, 28-7, going into the fourth quarter. When Condal broke a 77-yard run, to make the score 28-13 (the kick failed), and then Galassi scored on a six yard run (with the two point conversion pass failing) the Aviators had a rally going, cutting the lead to 28-19.
The Aviators cut the lead to 28-26 when Pikowski hit Davis with a six-yard pass, and Condal converted the extra point. The Aviators last-minute attempt to win the game failed as Condal’s field goal attempt was blocked and returned 70-yards for a touchdown, allowing the Wildcats to escape with a 34-26 victory.
The Aviators stopped their two-game losing streak in an unexpected way in Week 6, a forfeit win over Bogota, which had to suspend their program due to diminished numbers. Bogota, which had struggled with turnout for a few seasons, but had won a North 1, Group 1 championship just four years earlier (2006), so this was unexpected.
Back on the field at Lyndhurst, the Aviators rolled over the Bears, 42-14, to improve to 3-4 on the way. Gallasi carried 11 times for 228 yards and three touchdowns and scored on a 30-yard touchdown to lead the offensive outburst. Condal chipped in with a touchdown and 120 yards rushing on nine carries. Pikowski scored on a 40-yard run for the Aviators other score.
Galassi scored three touchdowns to lead the Aviators to a 30-12 win over Secaucus as the Aviators evened their record at 4-4. Galassi gave the Aviators a 6-0 lead in the first on a five yard run, after a Condal field goal, Galassi scored from two put the Aviators up 16-6 at the half. His 70-yard run in third quarter made the score 23-6. Condal returned a fumble 50 yards to put the game on ice for the Aviators.
Next up for the Aviators was Pompton Lakes, and the Aviators continued their late season offensive explosion with a 36-6 victory to move to 5-4. Galassi rambled for 199 yards on 18 carries and returned a fumble 87 for a score. Condal scored three times and rushed for 138 yards as the Aviators chewed up the Cardinals defense on the ground.
Condal scored on runs of 6 and 80 and caught a two yard pass from Seidel, who had two touchdown passes on the day.
Missing the NJSIAA North 1, Group 1 playoffs, the Aviators were assigned Park Ridge in a consolation game. Galassi rushed for 192 yards and four touchdowns, while Condal added 115 and a touchdown, as the Aviators rolled to a 34-13 victory. Galassi rumbled in from 5,5,1,and 30 yards, while Condal scored from 15.
Galassi finished the season with 1,430 yards rushing and 15 touchdowns, while adding a score on defense and one receiving. Condal finished with 748 yards while converting 14 of 17 extra points.
Galassi (RB), Condal (DB) were named to First Team NJIC All-Meadowlands B team, along with guard Mark Delcalzo, and guard Mike Pasqualone. Second Team All-Meadowlands B selections included defensive back Jon D’Alessandro, defensive lineman Steve DeNichilo, tackle Ian Sagitas as quarterback Anthony Seidel. Kevin Dugay and Mike Pikowski were Honorable Mention choices.
|1||Anthony Seidel||RB, MLB||So.|
|2||AJ Traina||RB, MLB||So.|
|3||Chris Abramo||WR, CB||Jr.|
|5||Mike Pikowski||QB, S||Jr.|
|7||David Jackson||WB, DB||So.|
|9||Mark Palermo||WR, S||Jr.|
|10||Jon D'Alessandro||WR, CB||Sr.|
|11||Joey Crabbe||QB, OLB||So.|
|13||Alberto Mlenak||TE, OLB||Sr.|
|19||Alex Gonzalez||TE, OLB||Jr.|
|21||Matt Galassi (C)||FB, ILB||Sr.|
|24||Kevin Condal (C)||TB, CB||Sr.|
|25||Jessie Ramirez||RB, DB||Sr.|
|26||Nico Waters||WR, DB||So.|
|27||Joe Gencarelli||T, DT||Sr.|
|40||James Fitzsimmons||TE, OLB||So.|
|45||David Im||FB, OLB||Jr.|
|50||Dan Manigieri||G, DT||Jr.|
|51||Mark Delcalzo (C)||G, DE||Sr.|
|52||Mike Pasqualone||T, DT||Jr.|
|53||Luis Ortiz||T, DT||Sr.|
|54||Matt DeSimone||C, DE||So.|
|55||Chris Connors||G, MLB||Jr.|
|57||Steve Denichilo||T, DT||Sr.|
|58||Kevin Dugay||C, DE||Sr.|
|61||Chris Golio||G, DE||So.|
|62||Matteo Vilardi||T, DT||So.|
|63||Frank Altamura||DT, DL||So.|
|64||Joseph Shkreli||G, DT||So.|
|67||Joe Daidone||T, DT||Sr.|
|70||John DeLorenzo||T, DT||Sr.|
|77||Tim Mongon||T, DT||Sr.|
|78||Conner Blake||T, DT||Jr.|
|79||Ian Sagitas||T, DE||Sr.|
|81||Mark Monahan||WR, DB||Jr.|
TAPinto Hasbrouck Heights/Wood-Ridge/Teterboro is Hasbrouck Heights, Wood-Ridge and Teterboro’s free daily news source, and is the official newspaper of the Hasbrouck Heights Board of Education and Hasbrouck Heights Borough Council.
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