LIVINGSTON, NJ - In a back and forth game the Livingston Lancers made a second half comeback to defeat the Millburn Millers 34-26 on Sunday afternoon in Livingston. After being down 20-6 at halftime the Lancers scored 28 points and only allowed their opposition to score one touchdown in the final 30 minutes of play.
Cappuccino provided the winning score midway through the fourth quarter for the Lancers. Against a worn down Millers defense it took the Lancers only three plays before Cappuccino scored his fourth touchdown of the game. That put the Lancers up 27-26.
"We came out with the attitude that we're not losing this game," Cappuccino said. "We came out in the second half and showed that."
The Millers had a chance to reclaim the lead on their next possession, but quarterback Ryan Bednarski threw two incomplete balls, which forced his team to punt the ball away.
The Lancers put the game a way on their next drive. They converted on two fourth and short opportunities and half back Chase Larangera ran in for a thirteen yard touchdown to put his team up 34-26 with about 40 seconds left to play.
With the win the Lancers snapped a nine game losing streak. They did not win a game all of last season and Cappuccino and Lancers Head Coach Barry Kostibos said that their team worked hard all summer to ensure that they have a successful season.
"I'm proud of them. They came out in the second half and played so well. They never quit," Coach Kostibos said. "We just stayed with what we were doing, We didn't adjust anything."
For the Millers, they sure can be proud of their efforts on Sunday afternoon, particularly those of wide receiver Tim Swanson. The star Millers' wide out had seven catches and all four of his team's touchdowns. He had over 200 all-purpose yards, including two catches for over 50 yards.
"Swanson had a great game. It was a great individual performance," Millers Head Coach Carmen Guarino said.
The Millers scored 20 unanswered points in the first half after giving up the first score of the game to the Lancers.
Unfortunately for the Millers, Swanson was the only one to provide key plays for his team. Bednarski only completed one pass to another receiver, and although full back Max Wasserman had some good runs, he could not get the important yards in the second half for the Millers to control possession.
It also appeared as if the Millers' defense wore down in the second half, as the Lancers' Cappuccino was literally running over defensive players to keep the chains and the clock moving.
"We couldn't be consistent on offense and they were controlling the ball. We just didn't play four quarters. We got to get these guys to step up and play tougher," Coach Guarino said. "They (the Lancers) were breaking tackles in the second and third levels on our defense and that was the difference."
It was an exciting match-up on Sunday afternoon, particularly since it was only the first game of the year for both of the Super Essex County Division squads.
The Lancers will next host Passaic High School on September 19th.
The Millers will look to get their first win of the season when they play at home against Nutley High School on September 24th.