CRESSKILL, NJ - It was not the way that Hasbrouck Heights expected to open the season.
Cresskill, behind four touchdowns from senior quarterback Aiden Fuelner, and the power running of senior running back Tim Coffey, defeated Hasbrouck Heights, 35-14, in the season opening game Thursday evening in Cresskill.
After giving up 14 points to the Aviators in little over a quarter, the Cresskill defense shut down the Aviators completely over the final three quarters.
The Aviators were able to stop Cresskill on the first possession of the game, taking over at their own 30. The Aviators went right into their bag of tricks as quarterback Spencer Lee handed off to Rocco Minichiello heading toward to right side line. Minichiello handed the ball to Stephen Faussette, on a reverse, tossing the ball to Lee, who hit Minichiello streaking down the sideline for a 66 yard catch and run.
However, a flag for an illegal block in the back downfield, brought the play back to the 47-yard line, a 43-yard penalty. The Aviators continued the drive, with Lee hiting Minichiello with two passes for 22 yards, and Lee went over the goal line from 3 yards out for an early 7-0 lead after Connor Friedel’s extra point. .
After an exchange of punts gave Cresskill the ball at the Aviator 38 yard line, the Cougars marched down the field, scoring four plays later on a Fuelner five-yard run on the last play of the first quarter. Kicker Mike Spina extra point squeezed over the bar, and the game was tied at 7-7.
The Aviators would waste no time re- establishing the lead, scoring in two minutes on a 17-yard run by Minichiello around left end. But Cresskill scored on a 1 yard run from Feulner to cut the lead to a 14-13. Spina’s kick clanked off the goal post, but the Aviators were flagged for being offside. Spina converted on his second chance, and it was 14-14.
The second half was all Cresskill, as the Aviator offense stalled, and the defense was not able to stop the Cresskill offense. Feulner added two more rushing touchdowns and Coffey battered the middle of the Aviator defense, as Cresskill took a 28-14 lead going into the fourth quarter.
The fourth quarter was more of the same, as the Aviators offense continued to sputter, and the Cresskill offense continued to move the ball.
Down 35-14, the Aviators tried the reverse-flea flicker once again, with Lee once again hitting Minichiello down the sideline for a long gain. But the Aviators would turn the ball over one last time, as Lee underthrew Zai’heer Jenkins while scrambling, ending the Aviators evening.
“We have to evaluate where we are,” said Hasbrouck Heights head coach Nick Delcalzo. “We have some work to do get things cleaned up and get ready for Saddle Brook (next Saturday.)
Notes: Friedel, kicking in his first game, was two-for-two on extra points in his first game as kicker.... Minichiello rushed four times for 21 yards and a touchdown, while catching four passes for 63 yards. Lee was 10-of-15 for 114 yards, and was sacked three times for a loss of 30 yards. Michael Robertson rushed 11 times for 56 yards.
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