WARREN, NJ - The Watchung Hills Wolverines Pee Wee football team delivered a decisive 38-19 victory over the Eastchester Blue Devils to notch their first Eastern Region playoff victory, and tenth overall win on the season. The victory advances the Wolverines to the region semi-finals next weekend and brings their record to 10-0.
The Wolverines started the day on the attack, marching down the field immediately with Brock Dandridge and Barry Norman taking snaps out of the shotgun behind a front line that included Camryn Ralli, Isaac Seubert, Jake Herring, Kyle Checchio, CJ Brown, Jamel Johnson and Max Yaeger. Backfield support from David Thorbourne, Isaac Russell and Christian Warnicke helped ensure running room for Dandridge who scampered to put the Wolverines up 6-0 on a long run. Kicker Byron McCann added the extra point.
The Wolverines started out a bit soft defensively, immediately allowing the Blue Devils to put points up on a long outside run, which brought the contest to nearly even at 8-7. Not allowing themselves to dwell on mistakes, the Wolverines showed character and fought back on their second possession. Mixing up offensive schemes, with Jadon Prinzivalli at quarterback, the Wolverines relied on some creative play calling using both pass and run offenses. Caleb Robinson-Newsome had some nice runs for the Wolverines along with Checchio and Norman. Guards Mason Kelly and Nick Valenti were both active in pulling to make some key blocks while Lucas Garcia, Gerald Tobia and Matisse Kalnins helped seal the edge from their tackle positions. Brayden Kelly, from his center position, was steadfast in providing critical protection for the plays to develop. Vito Marcogliese also contributed by dismissing the cornerback on several running plays. The overall efforts of the offense helped Dandrige deliver his second TD of the game - a long dash down the right side of the field where he escaped several tackles.
After their second score, the Wolverines tightened up defensively with contributions on the line from James Weinschenk, Jake Arakelian and Jackson Acosta. Checchio, Johnson, Valenti, Kalnins, Dandridge, Tobia, Garcia and both Kellys were all active swarm tackling some of the more talented athletes from the Blue Devils. By half time, after a Checchio TD run and another PAT from McCann, the Wolverines were up 24-7.
In the second half, the Wolverines delivered a quick stop and got on the board again with a great run by Robinson-Newsome, which brought the tally to 30-7. The Blue Devils fought back hard and were able to deliver 2 more scores, but a second touchdown by Robinson-Newsome, combined with great kicking from McCann, sealed the game at 38-19.