LIVINGSTON, NJ - The Livingston Lancers defeated the Nutley Raiders 22-21 under the lights Saturday night. Both teams had 3-0 records going into the game, and the Lancers came out on top after a two-point conversion in overtime.
The game began with Nutley kicking off and displaying a strong defense as they forced Livingston to punt after an unsuccessful first drive on offense. The first quarter went back and forth with both teams earning multiple first downs, but neither offense was capable of scoring.
The second quarter was dominated by the Lancers when they picked up a first down after blocking Nutley’s attempted field goal. A 15-yard penalty for intentional grounding left the Raiders with no choice but to punt, giving Livingston a shot at offense.
Andrew Egner threw a 50 yard touchdown pass to Cooper Weisman, and Joe Terzian kicked the extra point to put Livingston on the scoreboard. Weisman told The Alternative Press that the touchdown helped motivate the team.
“It got me really pumped, and it got the whole team involved,” he said. Two minutes later, Wolkstein ran from the seven yard line for a touchdown that strengthened the lead. The Lancers continued to show their strength as Abe Choe intercepted a Nutley pass, allowing his team to finish the half with a 14-0 lead.
Livingston kicked off to begin the third quarter, but the Raiders were looking strong and determined to come back. With less than two minutes into the half, Michael Hovan ran for 45 yards to earn his team’s first TD. On Nutley’s next opportunity on offense, Matthew Del Mauro carried the ball for 70 yards before fumbling one yard short of the end zone. Livingston and Nutley alternated unproductive possessions before the Raider’s Del Mauro ran for a touchdown, to tie the score.
The fourth quarter was a series of incomplete passes, punts, and turnovers for both teams. Livingston’s Weisman made an interception to prevent Nutley from scoring and send the game into overtime.
Overtime began with Nutley’s offense getting the first set of downs on the 25 yard line. Louis Meggiolaro ran the ball in for a TD, and Michael Hovan kicked the extra point for a 21-14 lead. Livingston knew what they had to do to win on offense, and Weisman received a pass to get a first down and new set of downs. With less than 10 yards to go, Wolkstein was able to score another touchdown with a running play.
Coach Kostibos chose a play designed for Chase Larangera, who scored the two-point conversion to win the game. Larangera reflected on his reception and the team’s win, saying “It was an amazing feeling to beat such a strong conference team, and it also felt great to be one more game closer to a conference or state championship title.”
The Lancers will attempt to stay undefeated when they play East Side High School on Thursday night.