SPARTA, NJ –The last home game for the seniors on the Sparta High School football team was a 17-0 victory over Bergenfield, for the first round of the NJSIAA North 1, Group 3 playoffs. The Spartans had clinched the Patriot Red division title in last week’s win over High Point.
The defensive battle kept both team scoreless until halfway through the second quarter. Both teams had field goal attempts blocked. Sparta’s Vin DeSimone’s first attempt was whistled off on a Sparta line of scrimmage penalty. DeSimone was moved back for the second attempt that was blocked by the Bears.
Sparta was plagued by penalties in the first half but tightened up in the second half, even drawing the Bears offsides near the Sparta end zone.
Robbie Gennat had a fumble recovery at midfield for Sparta, allowing them to march down to their end.
Sparta finally got on the board, when on third down and seven, quarterback Anthony Broccoletti connected with Will Cisko in the end zone, after the ball passed through the hands of Eric Castorina. The point after was good. The teams went into the locker room at halftime with Sparta up 7-0.
The crowd was rewarded for braving the cold with a Bergenfield Marching Band halftime show.
The next points came from a 20-yard DeSimone field goal in the fourth quarter.
Thomas Agudo broke loose for a 41-yard yard run to seal the win for Sparta. Number 24 had just under 200 yards on 38 carries.
With 2:50 left on the clock Richardson intercepted a Bear’s pass to dash any hopes of a Bergenfield score.
“We were prepared,” Agudo said. “We prepared all week for Bergenfield. Ramapo is a tough team but we’re ready for them.”
While Sparta was held to their lowest point total of the season, Bergenfield was held to under 130 total yards by the Spartan defense.
Fourth seed Sparta will play at Ramapo ranked number one, on Friday, November 17. This is a rematch of the semifinal 2013 game in which Sparta took the win.