HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, NJ - Hasbrouck Heights opened its 2019 NJSIAA playoff campaign with a convincing 41-8 win over Bound Brook Friday night, in a game that was more one-sided than the score appeared.
“I thought we played well,” said Hasbrouck Heights head coach Nick Delcalzo. ‘Our defense in particular played really well, I thought.”
Despite a dominating first quarter, it took a blocked punt by Rocco Minichiello, which was returned seven yards for a touchdown by John Sedlmeir to get the Aviators on the board late in the first quarter.
The Aviators had shut down the Bound Brook offense on their first possession, and went on a long drive, chewing up most of the first quarter, but turned the ball over on downs to the Bombers at the Bound Brook 9-yard line.
The Aviators shut down the Bound Brook offense once again, forcing a punt from their 17-yard line. Minichiello blocked the punt, and Sedlmeir picked up the ball on a bounce and bounded into the end zone for a 6-0 lead. A Spencer Lee to Zai’here Jenkins two point conversion gave the Aviators an 8-0 lead.
The defense came up big on the next drive, as Hunter Freschi recovered a Bound Brook fumble, giving the Aviators good field position as the first quarter came to an end.
The Bound Brook defense was giving the Aviators trouble, making the Aviators fight to move the ball. But Lee scored on the 13th play of the drive on a two-yard run up the middle, and the Aviators had a 15-0 lead after Connor Friedel’s extra points.
Bound Brook pinned themselves deep in their own territory, mishandling Friedel’s kickoff, and getting called for a block in the back, pinning them back at their own three-yard-line. After a 12-yard run from Yasir Julius, the Bound Brook offense sputtered, and the Aviators took over at the Bound Brook 44 after a short, rushed punt.
The Aviators took their shot on the first play, as the Aviators went to a little razzle dazzle, as receiver Steven Faussette hit Jake Diaz down field for a 44-yard touchdown catch and following Friedel’s conversion, the Aviators lead had grown to 22-0.
It did not take long for the Aviators to set the offense for a quick score, as Sedlmeir sacked Bound Brook quarterback Patrick LePoidevin, causing a fumble at the six yard line, Adrian Mercado scooped it up, but was tackled at the four.
Jenkins ran it in for the Aviators on their first play, and following the conversion, the lead had quickly grown to 29-0.
Bound Brook was clearly rattled, and looked to get a break on the ensuing kickoff when the Aviators were called for a late hit, giving the Bombers the ball at their 45 yard line. But the Bombers fumbled once again, and Freschi picked the ball up and returned the ball to the 23 with 1:48 remaining in the half.
Minichiello scampered in from 8 yards out to with 16 seconds left to take a 35-0 lead at the half.
(Under NJSIAA Sportsmanship rules, when the game has a spread more than 35 points, the game is played with running time.)
The Aviators took the opening kickoff of the second half, chewing up nearly nine minutes before Anthony DiLascio scored Hasbrouck Heights final touchdown, a 10-yard run, to make the score 41-0.
Bound Brook scored on the game’s last play on a two yard quarterback sneak, and converted the two point conversion for a 41-8 final.
“I thought we started a bit slow,” said Lee. “But the defense picked us up.”
“It was a good transition,” said senior linebacker Matteo Ochoa. “The offense cashed in on the turnovers.”
“Total team effort,” said Jenkins.
Notes: The Aviators, the number 1 seed in North 2 Group 1, advanced to play fourth seeded New Milford next week in Hasbrouck Heights in the Sectional Semi-Finals. New Milford, the fourth seed, defeated fifth seed Hoboken, 15-14, on Friday night to advance.
Passing: Lee 12-13, 95 yards, Faussette 1-1, 44 yards, 1 touchdown
Rushing: Minichiello 9-56, 1 TD, Jenkins 5-23, 1 TD, Lee 6-29, 1 TD, Faussette 2-4, DiLascio 10-40, 1 TD
Receiving: Minichiello 4-17, Diaz 3-77, TD, Freschi 3-23, Jenkins 3-22
HH - Sedlmeir 7 yard run off blocked punt (Lee to Jenkins)
HH Lee 2 yard run (Friedel kick)
HH Faussette pass to Diaz 44 yards (Friedel kick)
HH Lee 4 run (Friedel kick)
HH Jenkins 4 yard run (Kick failed)
HH - DiLascio 10 yard run (kick failed)
BB - LePoidevin 2 run (LePoidevin to Julious)
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