The Parsippany Hills High School football team fell to River Dell, 20-14, this past Friday night.
In the first road challenge of the season for the Vikings, River Dell was able to take advantage of some costly turnovers.
“We played a great game but against a team like that you can’t turn the ball over,” said Parsippany Hills head coach David Albano. “We had two killer turnovers. We had an interception for a touchdown and then a bad snap on a punt, which was another touchdown. I was really happy with the way we played defense, but we gave up 14 points on turnovers. You’re not going to beat a good team that way. I was happy with the way we competed, I was happy with the way we played, our energy.”
Par Hills (1-1) took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter after quarterback J.D. Breslauer, who finished 16-of-30 for 225 yards and two touchdowns and two interceptions, connected on an 11-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Thompson.
River Dell’s Joe Mellett then had a 12-yard interception return for a score. After a blocked PAT, the Vikings found themselves leading 7-6.
The fumble recovery in the end zone put River Dell ahead for the first time on the night, 13-7, in the third quarter.
A Jack Gillies 1-yard run had River Dell up 20-7. Par Hills cut the deficit to one possession after Breslauer threw a 34-yard TD pass to Dennis Wilson.
Dominick Verducci ran for 40 yards on 16 carries for Par Hills. The Vikings’ E.J. Comerford had a dominant game on the receiving end with seven receptions for 123 yards.
Par Hills had four sacks. Alan Copeland led the team with two and Angelo Varcadipane and Thompson each had one. Thompson forced a fumble and G.J. Nazziola recovered for the Morris County squad.
Jack Bellardino had an interception for Parsippany Hills. The Vikings have been stout on the defensive side of the ball.
“In two games our defense has given up 14 points,” Albano said. “Defensively we’re playing as good as we’ve played in years. The kids have energy -- we’re physical. We’re not making too many mistakes and we’re creating turnovers.”
At this point last year Parsippany Hills was 0-2. Now, with a 1-1 split against Paramus and River Dell, the Vikings shift their attention over to a different style of team in Roxbury.
While the Gaels are 0-2 and have struggled on the offensive side of the ball in both games, they have a reputation for being a physical, rugged team year in and year out.
“They’re big, they’re physical, they run the ball down your throat,” Albano said of Roxbury. “It’ll be a completely different kind of game. It’s going to be there and it’s a great environment for high school football. We played them a million times and the games are always close and competitive. We’re going to have to put River Dell behind us or we can be in for a long night. We’re going to get to work on Monday on Roxbury, and it’s only about Roxbury.”