Football: Westfield Extends State-Best Win Streak to 18 with 28-13 Win Over Union

Blue Devil quarterback Phil Martini gets ready to take the snap during Saturday's game against Union. Credits: Eric Storms
Blue Devil quarterback Phil Martini hands the ball off to running back Ishmael Glasco during Saturday's game against Union. Credits: Eric Storms
Blue Devil quarterback Phil Martini pitches the ball to running back Ishmael Glasco during Saturday's game against Union. Credits: Eric Storms

WESTFIELD, NJ — With a scoreless game at the end of the first quarter, it appeared the Union Farmers had what it took run with the Westfield Blue Devils and snap their state-high win streak. However, explosive offensive plays and lockdown defense allowed Westfield to extend their win streak to 18 with a 28-13 win.

“We knew they were going to be a tough team,” Westfield senior defensive end Owen Kessler said. They were psyched to play us. We blew them out last year and they were pretty [angry] about that. They were also the other undefeated team so we knew it was going to be a good game, and that led up to all the hype about the game and we really performed.”

One of the biggest turning points of the game came early in the second quarter. Westfield junior cornerback Steve Barden deflected a pass into the arms of senior safety Ben Kelly for an interception to give Westfield a much needed momentum swing.

Sign Up for E-News

“It’s big,” Westfield head coach Jim DeSarno said. “Against a good football team you want to try and take the wind out of their sails a little bit.”

On the next play, senior quarterback Phil Martini launched a pass to senior wide receiver Jack Shirk for a 55-yard score to put the first points on the scoreboard. The play was designed so that Shirk would line up in the backfield and sneak out to the left while the play would appear to be developing to the right, according to DeSarno.

“We’ve been practicing it all week; we ran it multiple times in practice,” Shirk said. “They put me in the backfield and we just ran it. I got past the safety, the line blocked and Phil threw a great ball.”

However, Union struck back with quarterback Justin Beckett scampering out for a 50 yard touchdown run to tie it at 7-7 and the continuation of the Blue Devil’s streak remained in doubt.

But from then on it was all Westfield. Senior running back Ishmael Glasco tallied 90 yards on the day and ran for a 33-yard touchdown with 3:12 left in the second quarter. With other senior running back Matt Varano injured, Glasco has been the featured back despite also playing cornerback on defense.

“He’s ready for it, he wants it and he’s showing it,” DeSarno said. “He worked for this and he wants to be out there. He doesn’t want to come off the field.”

Westfield took a 21-7 lead into the half after a fast-paced two-minute drill. Martini punched it in himself from the one-yard line after a 28-yard pass from him to Shirk to set it up. Senior wide receiver Michael Moriarty caught a 10-yard pass to make it 28-7 with 5:52 left in the third.

Union only scored again with 16 seconds left in the game on an 8-yard touchdown reception from senior wide receiver Hansley Cenescar.

DeSarno was more than proud of his team’s performance.

“It feels really good,” he said. “We knew it was a big game with two undefeated teams. We challenged our team to come out, be aggressive, kind of take the game to them, and we did. I really loved our effort on both sides of the ball and special teams. I’m just happy. I’m really pleased with our effort.”

The Blue Devils’ experienced defensive line stood out as Westfield took control of the game.

“We pride ourselves on defense here and they were stout again today,” DeSarno said. “We put good pressure. That quarterback’s really good. He’s fast, he throws a really good ball and he’s a lot better than he was last year, so I really thought just the way we played up front was really the factor, really on both sides of the ball.”

The Blue Devils aren’t dwelling on their win streak, DeSarno said.

“We have a five-game winning streak,” he said of the current season’s team. “It’s all about this team. That’s all we care about.”

However, it’s hard for the players to forget about it completely.

“You can’t just ignore something like that,” Kessler said. “We all take pride in it, but at the same time we take every game one at a time and we just focus on the next team at hand, which now is Elizabeth. We’ll celebrate a little today but then tomorrow it’s all about Elizabeth.”

The Westfield (5-0) vs. Elizabeth (3-2) game will take place in Elizabeth under the lights at 7 p.m. on Friday. At the same time, Union (3-1) will take on Franklin (0-4) at Union.

Eric Storms is a student at Westfield High School participating in a journalism program with TAPinto Westfield.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News


Health Authorities Investigating Death of Elizabeth Schoolgirl who had Flu

February 19, 2018

ELIZABETH, NJ — The New Jersey Department of Health is continuing to investigate the cause of the passing of Daniela Genaro who attended Nicholas LaCorte — Peterstown School No. 3 after it was confirmed that the student had been diagnosed with influenza. Officials say, it "presently remains unclear whether or not the virus was the primary contributing factor to the child's ...

Mayor Brindle’s Update

February 15, 2018

The following are highlights from the update that Mayor Shelley Brindle gave at Tuesday night’s town council meeting.

I first want to congratulate Nick Calello and David Went for their promotions to patrol officers in the Westfield Police Department. I’d also like to welcome and congratulate new Patrol Officer Fortunato Riga, who joins the police department this week upon his ...

Upcoming Events


Thu, February 22, 8:30 AM

Hilton Garden Inn, Hamilton , Hamilton

Defending Your Independent Contractor & Wage & ...

Business & Finance Education Law & Justice


Fri, February 23, 12:00 PM

Resolve, Scotch Plains

Free Teen Anxiety Group (Ages 14-17) at Resolve


Fri, February 23, 5:00 PM

Catanzaro Dining Hall at Saint Joseph High School, Metuchen

Friday Night Lenten Fish Fry

Food & Drink

Point View's Dietze, Petrides Tell LA Times How to Make Sense of Market's Volatility

February 20, 2018

Point View Wealth Management's Founder, President and Chief Investment Strategist, David Dietze, along with the firm's Managing Director and Portfolio Manager, John Petrides, comment in the Los Angeles Times on mistakes investors should avoid when the market heads south:

The duo's advice is part of a piece ...

Westfield Police Blotter: DWI Arrest & More

February 15, 2018

February 7, 2018 10:25 p.m.

Officers Natale and Gill arrested Brian Mueller, age 55, of Westfield, NJ for driving while intoxicated pursuant to an accident investigation in the area of Mountain Avenue by Colonial Avenue. Subject was transported to headquarters, processed and released to a sober adult.


February 9, 2018 2:21 a.m.

Selena G. Palacios, age 22, of Westfield, NJ was ...

19 Homes Sold Last Week in Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Cranford & Mountainside

Nineteen homes sold last week, 2/11/2018-2/18/2018, in Westfield,  Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Mountainside and Cranford.*

TOWN                  ...

Good News in NJ for Veterans

Beginning in the 2017 tax year, New Jersey will give an additional $3,000 exemption for military veterans. You are eligible to claim this exemption NJ state income tax return if you are a military veteran who was honorably discharged or released under honorable circumstances from active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States on or before the last day of the tax year.


The ...

Sinai or Sanctuary?



And in the beginning, G‑d was homeless, and so G‑d asked His people to set Him up with some digs. Where does it say that? Well, nowhere, actually. But it does say that G‑d instructed Moses to tell the people, “They shall make for Me a Sanctuary, that I may dwell among them.”

Now the question is, was G‑d really homeless? ...

Westfield Public Schools Celebrate High School and Intermediate Music Honors

Westfield High School sophomore Brooke Walden auditioned and was selected to the New Jersey All-State Wind Ensemble and Orchestra for a second straight year.  Brooke was the top scoring piccolo player and ranked third on the flute.  She will perform in February with the Wind Ensemble and in November with the Orchestra.

Walden also was among 12 WHS musicians to perform in January with ...

How to Talk with Kids About the Florida Shooting

February 13, 2018

The tragedy of the Florida school shooting is devastating, leaving 17 killed and 15 injured. Our children can easily identify with what occurred yesterday. It will be the topic of conversation today in schools everywhere. School administrators are doing all they can to provide support and guidance. The shootings affect children, teachers, and school personnel. The school shooting ...

Love Craft Beer But Hate the Tour? State Assembly Moves to Make it Easier for You to Belly Up to the Bar

Good news is a brew for New Jersey craft beer advocates. In February 2018, the New Jersey Assembly’s Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee paved the way for the introduction of Bill A2196, which would remove a current licensing rule requiring breweries and distilleries to provide a tour of their facilities before serving alcoholic beverages to consumers. Currently, breweries holding a ...

'What Stays' exposes family secrets and lies

‘What Stays’ exposes family secrets, resentment and lies

By Liz Keill

SUMMIT, NJ – In an original play by Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta, the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre has provided an enlightening, funny and heart-felt view of family foibles.

Ekstrand has said that the germ of the play came from conversations with the ensemble members of the troupe, based on ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 12

On this week’s episode of AtlantiCast, decade of excellence makes headlines, as Atlantic Health’s place on Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For List leads off the newest episode of AtlantiCast. Also on this week’s show, check out the newest “hybrid” operating room at Morristown Medical Center and find out how Atlantic Health is helping local ...

Cat Found in Westfield

UPDATE: Reunited with family!

ORIGINAL POST: Cat found in Golf Edge area of Westfield. Call 908-913-0509.

Is FAANG Long in the Tooth?

Investors love to rally around a stock story. Today it’s all about the FAANG stocks. Facebook (FB), Amazon (AMZN), Apple (AAPL), Netflix (NFLX) and Google (GOOG) are a major reason why the S&P 500 rallied so much in 2017. Mr. Market is convinced the FAANGs are impervious to a sell-off. “Its different this time” is ringing loud and clear, but will the outcome really be that ...

Imagine a Chatham Toboggan Ride from the Top of Fairmount Avenue to Main Street

Did you know….
there was a time when Chatham kids could ice skate from downtown Chatham all the way to Florham Park? And that a toboggan ride could last from the top of Fairmount Avenue down to Main Street and beyond?

Those were the days!

This was back in the early to mid-1900s. The Passaic River meandered through grassy meadows and woods on the north side of Chatham. The marshy ...


Kathleen Marie Christian (nee Helmstetter), age 73 of Surf City, NJ, passed away peacefully at home ...
Read more

5 Injured in Bus Collision with Garbage Truck in Maplewood

February 20, 2018

MAPLEWOOD, NJ — Five people were seriously injured when a NJ Transit bus and a garbage truck collided head-on around 12:45 p.m. on Tuesday, according to a press release from Acting Essex County Prosecutor Robert D. Laurino of the Essex County Prosecutor's office.

The accident occurred near 1450 Springfield Ave., which is directly in front of the NJ Transit ...