SPARTA, NJ – Sparta High School football crushed West Milford on Saturday on Cassels Field, 56-20.

Alex Miliken was first into the end zone for Sparta on a short pass from Quarterback Matt Maute.  It was MIliken’s first of three touchdowns.

The next six came from the Sparta defense with Jason Girratano returning a blocked punt.

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Sparta scored three more times before the half; Miliken on a six-yard run, Jake Zerillo on a 22-yard pass and a 34 yard Maute pass thrown across the field to Jonathan Byers.   

Shortly after returning to the field for the second half Sparta’s Rich McDonald scored on a 15-yard pass, with Miliken running it in for a two-point conversion.  Miliken followed up with a 44 yard run into the end zone that would get the clock to run for the rest of the game.

With Sparta’s JV on the field, West Milford’s varsity squad scored twice, including one on a tipped pass.  Sparta’s Coach Frank Marciano put the varsity players back on the field and it took them only two plays to go 67 yards with Rich McDonald scoring his second and Sparta’s last touchdown of the game. 

The second half saw a number of Spartan penalties including two that brought back big gains.

 Sparta’s kicker Anthony Broccoletti scored six extra points on seven attempts. 

Billy Loewen had a sack in the fourth quarter. 

Maute threw for 19 completions on 27 attempts, adding 316 yards to his season total.

After the game Marciano told his team to be ready to work hard next week because the “next three teams are playoff teams.”  Sparta goes up against Roxbury on the road next week, followed by West Morris and Jefferson both at home.

Defensive tackle Zack Herbert said, “Our defense played really well.  We were a little stumblely [sic] in the first half but got better in the second half.  The second team was clutch in the second half.”

“We had great d,” said McDonald.  “Our running backs, our quarterback, our receivers-  everyone was making plays.” McDonald has 18 catches for 321 yards and five touchdowns. 

“I think we had an all-around great game, both offense and defense,” Jason Girratano said.  Girratano, playing guard and defensive tackle said, “We came back to play hard in the second half.”

Quarterback Maute agreed. “The line did a great job, Alex (Miliken) did a great job.  We all did a great job and got a great win.”  Maute has 68 completed passes in 94 attempts for 1198 yards and 15 touchdowns for the season so far.

Miliken has racked up 533 yards rushing in 46 attempts averaging more than 133 yards per game.  He has 10 rushing touchdowns.  He’s also made 12 grabs for 235 yards scoring twice in the air.

Sparta moves to 4-0 on the season.  They have scored 187 points in four games, allowing only 48 points to be scored against them. 

Sparta game against Roxbury is on Friday night under the lights on the Gaels field.  Kick-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.