HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, NJ - It was New Milford vs Hasbrouck Heights, Meadowlands Football League style. While the high schools will meet Friday night at Depken Field in NJSIAA playoffs, the MFL Junior and Senior Divisions met on Saturday night to determine who will go to the MFL Super Bowl next Saturday.
SENIOR DIVISION: Hasbrouck Heights 31, New Milford 6
Not even the lights going out could slow down Hasbrouck Heights offense as the Senior Aviators defeated New Milford, 31-6 in the nightcap to advance to the MFL Super Bowl to face Rutherford.
Frankie Billings kicked off the scoring, finishing off a 23-yard drive with his third straight carry for a two yard touchdown and a 6-0 lead. George Kouletas kicked the extra point for an 8-0 lead (Kicked extra points are worth two points in Meadowlands football play.) The Senior Aviators got the ball in good scoring position when Joey Formisano recovered at the New Milford 23.
The Hasbrouck Heights defense shut down the Knights on their second possession, setting the Aviators for another drive. When it stalled, Hasbrouck Heights fans were witness to a rarity, a field goal attempt in junior football. Kouletas nailed the kick from 31 yards, and the score was 11-0.
New Milford tried opening up their offense the next possession, but once again were forced to punt.
The Senior Aviators took total control on the next possession, with Jake Summers converting a fourth and three at rushing, 18 yards to the five, and then dashing into the end zone for a 17-0 lead. Kouletas extra point was good, and the Aviators were up 19-0.
New Milford started to move the ball on a drive in the waning moments of the first half when the light bank above the press box went out. After a short delay, it was determined that the teams would go to halftime, and pick up when the lights came back on with 1:30 remaining in the first half.
When the teams restarted, New Milford fumbled on their second play, which was recovered by Billings. The Senior Aviators could not generate anything before the quarter ended.
Going right into the third quarter, New Milford got on the board as Quincy Porter blitzed up the middle causing a fumbled handoff. Porter scooped the ball and ran 48 yards for a score and New Milford had cut the lead to 19-6.
But the Senior Aviators bounced right back, going on a 10 play drive, with Summers scoring on a three-yard run with 3:33 left in the third quarter to stretch the lead to 25-6. New Milford blocked Kouletas kick (which would have ended the game) to keep the 19 point deficit.
Hasbrouck Heights clinched their spot in the Super Bowl moments late, as the Senior Aviators ran a reverse, Evan Werner to Billings to Summers, who went 65 yards for the game winning score.
(In Meadowland Football rules at the senior level, when the lead reaches 21 points after three quarters are played, the game is called final and B game is started.)
JUNIOR DIVISION: New Milford 19, Hasbrouck Heights 0
The Junior Aviators could not get much going on offense as the Knights defeated Hasbrouck Heights,19-0, in the Junior level battle for the Northern Division title.
New Milford’s Bryan Porter started the scoring with a 45-yard yard run around the right side of the Junior Aviator defense on the Knights first drive of the game for a 6-0 lead.
The Junior Aviators tried to bounce back, going on a nearly seven minute drive deep into New Milford territory. But the New Milford defense shut Jalil Baldwin down on four straight rushing attempts to take over on downs.
The Knights pushed the ball down the field on their second drive, but the Junior Aviators kept them out of the end zone when Matthew Samperi recovered Porter’s fumble on the goal line to stave of the Knights threat, momentarily.
The Junior Aviators gambled on fourth down on the ensuing drive, as Baldwin was stopped short on fourth and two from the Aviators ten, giving the ball back to New Milford in scoring position. Steve Vazquez powered over from one yard just three plays later for a 12-0 lead.
New Milford added an insurance score with 2:15 left in the game, on a three-yard touchdown from Kobe St. Hilaire.
New Milford will play Rutherford next Saturday afternoon.
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.
Sign up for our FREE daily eNews.
Celebrating Something Special? Showcase Your Wedding, Christening, Bar/Bat Mitzvah, Graduation, Reunion and MORE on TAPinto Milestones! Free for a limited time.