NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - For the second straight year, the New Providence Pioneers had little trouble disposing of David Brearley on the football field. Yet last night’s dominating win ratcheted up the Pioneers’ level of dominance again during a season that has already seen some major blow-outs. If anyone expected New Providence to struggle after 48-year head coach Frank Bottone’s retirement after last season’s historic state championship, those doubts have been all but silenced after yet another huge victory.
Once again the catalyst was senior running back/linebacker David Barletta. Last season, during the Pioneers’ state title run, Barletta was the backfield back-up to record-setting back Vinny Fuschetto. When comparing the two backs’ running styles, it’s downright easy to find the differences. However, the end result is the same – they both seemingly score at will. Barletta notched four touchdowns on just five carries against Brearly, racking up 201 yards in the process. If you’re doing the math at home, that means Barletta averaged a ridiculous 40.2 yards per carry. That’s right, over 40 yards all five times he touched the ball.
Barletta’s first carry – and the Pioneers’ first play of the game – was an 82-yard touchdown run and from that moment on, everyone in the stands knew that the game would not be close. On New Providence’s next possession, Barletta – on the third play of the drive this time – took a handoff and went 29 yards for a score that put the Pioneers up, 14-0. On the Pioneers’ third possession, it only took two plays before quarterback Mike Marchesano found Derek Singer streaking behind the Brearley defense for a 29-yard TD pass. You get the picture, here. And that was just the first quarter.
The Pioneers tacked on three more touchdowns before halftime – Brearley did score their lone TD in the second quarter, just before Barletta took one 64 yards to the end zone to make the score, 42-7.
After a halftime ceremony that featured New Providence being presented with their first-ever ShopRite Cup and also saw both the Cattano family honored and former head coach Frank Bottone also honored, the Pioneers iced the scoring early in the third quarter on Derek Singer’s second touchdown of the game, this one a 39-yard run. That made the score 49-7 New Providence and head coach Art Cattano – who had already begun rotating in his second and third teams – called off the dogs for the remaining 20 minutes or so of game time.
The win raised the Pioneers’ record to 4-0. New Providence’s next game is on October 14th at North Warren. Should the Pioneers win and should Summit beat A.L. Johnson tonight and Governor Livingston on the 14th, that would set up a mammoth rivalry game between two undefeated teams at Summit. While neither team is looking that far ahead, it’s obvious that such a game – if both teams entered undefeated – would have major postseason implications as both teams have each won the state championship in the past two years; New Providence last year and Summit the year before.