VERONA, NJ - The Verona football team is working towards what could be another undefeated season riding the strong running game of junior running back Frank Riggio.
This past week against rival Cedar Grove, Riggio had a monumental game rushing for 268 yards and four touchdowns. Riggio went into the contest hearing whispers of how the crosstown squad would bottle him up to an average performance and would not allow it.
“I heard that they were going to stop me for under 100 yards and that personally I took as a challenge. I wanted to be able to complete that and my teammates were able to rally and the offensive line was doing an outstanding job,” said Riggio.
For the junior tailback the game was a career high in what seems to be a trajectory of superstar status.
“That was definitely my best high school game in my career so far,” said Riggio.
While Riggio made a number of highlight reel runs in the contest including a Barry Sanders like pivot to avoid a would be Panther tackler, he still selflessly attributed his success to a team effort.
“I couldn’t thank the offensive line enough. They did an amazing job blocking every single time. They did not give up,” said Riggio.
This season to date Riggio has 1,115 rushing yards to go along with 17 touchdowns. He proves his versatility while being able to collect a few passes in the receiving game and make key blocks across the whole field.
“I put in a lot of time this summer. I wanted to get more speed, get bigger and be more physical than last season,” said Riggio.
While the glamour of winning a State Championship is very much in play the youngster still keeps with the team’s motto and holds everything into perspective.
“The State Championship is definitely our goal at the end of the year, but we’re just taking it one week at a time. We’re focused on Glen Ridge right now, and we’re not looking ahead,” said Riggio.
As the last game of the regular season with Glen Ridge rapidly approaches he knows what it will take for he and the team to get to that next great level that has eluded them after a heartbreaking loss in the State Semifinals last season.
“We’re going to have to play well both offensively, defensively, and special teams. Each week we’re going to have to practice real hard because as coach [Kevin Batty] says, you practice how you play, and we practice how we play, so each day in practice we keep pushing, so we get what we want which is a State Championship,” Riggio said.
TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove is an online newspaper serving the Townships of Verona and Cedar Grove. TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove is accredited by the New Jersey Press Association, and is a locally owned news organization serving the community.
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