Football: Westfield Receives Complete Team Effort in 37-7 Win Over Plainfield

Tim Alliegro dives into the endzone for his second TD of the game. Credits: Matt Kipp
Juandre House breaks tackles and runs upfield. Credits: Matt Kipp
Hank Shapiro threw for 143 yards and a TD, and completed 10-of-19 passes. Credits: Matt Kipp
Jake Dayon, #4, recovers his interceptions in the fourth quarter. Credits: Matt Kipp
Tommy Norris leaps to make the grab on a pass. Credits: Matt Kipp
Stevie Barden, #1, recorded a huge pick-six in the third quarter. Credits: Matt Kipp
Nick Martini fights for extra yardage. Martini rushed for his first career TD and received 13 carries. Credits: Matt Kipp
Tommy Norris, left, blocks Plainfield's Kyle Sparrow. Credits: Matt Kipp
Tim Alliegro carries the ball into the endzone for his first TD of the game. Credits: Matt Kipp
Plainfield QB Leonte Langston passed for 141 yards. Credits: Matt Kipp
Westfield's O-line prepares to block Plainfield's charging defense. Credits: Matt Kipp
Emmitt Smith, #80, receives a punt. Credits: Matt Kipp
Stevie Barden, #1, and Adam McDaniel, #2, strategize during the game. Credits: Matt Kipp
Juandre House looks towards the sidelines during a break in action. Credits: Matt Kipp
Plainfield's Haleem Woods makes a jumping grab. Credits: Matt Kipp

WESTFIELD, NJ — It took a quarter for the Westfield football team to heat up on a chilly Thanksgiving morning, but once the Blue Devils found their scoring ways, they couldn’t be stopped.

In the annual Westfield versus Plainfield Thanksgiving Day football game, the Blue Devils exploded for five touchdowns and a safety to hold off the Cardinals, 37-7. Westfield’s state-best winning streak grew to 36, and the team improved to 61-45-7 in the series with Plainfield that goes back more than a century.

Tim Alliegro rushed for two touchdowns, quarterback Hank Shapiro threw for 143 yards and Westfield received full contributions from its entire team upon improving to 11-0 on the season. Thursday’s 37 points were the most Westfield has scored in a game all season.

Sign Up for E-News

“There’s a thing in [the stadium] that says [the rivalry] has gone back since, like, 1901 — that’s a really long time,” said Stevie Barden, who recorded a huge third-quarter pick-six. “It’s an emotional game, but it’s not serious because everybody wants to have fun but win at the same time. Coming out here, doing our job and getting a 'dub' for our town … everybody had a nice time today.”

After the Blue Devils were shut out in the first quarter, Alliegro scored his two touchdowns in under a five-minute span in the second to put his team on the board and give the Blue Devils a lead they’d never relent. The sophomore walked one yard into the end zone on his first score, which capped off a sizable Westfield drive where he raced 21 yards down the field two runs prior. His second TD occurred moments later, as he ran four yards on a pitch and banged heads with a Plainfield defender before crossing the goal line.

Alliegro now has a team-high eight rushing TDs.

“I haven’t gotten into the end zone in a couple games, but it was good to get back,” Alliegro told “Our lineman really put their assignments together; I can’t do anything without them. They’re amazing — my brother [Fran], the McCauleys [Jack and Declan], Isaac Montez, Chris Culhane, Russell Weber — they’re just really great and opening up holes left and right for me.”

Westfield’s defense absolutely dominated Plainfield’s ground game — it allowed just eight rushing yards the entire game — forcing the Cardinals to pass the ball. While quarterback Leonte Langston threw for a total of 160 yards, Westfield picked him off twice in the second half, including a signature play late in the third quarter.  

Barden intercepted a Langston pass near midfield with two minutes remaining the quarter. Upon making the leaping snag, the Blue Devils’ star two-way player came streaking down the right sideline, and through timely blocking, reached the end zone for a pick-six. It was Barden’s second-career interception.

“I haven’t had a pick-six all year, even since our sophomore year,” said Barden. “I told my coach I was getting one today, so getting one for him made me feel really proud. It was nice to get into the end zone for my team.”

Opening up a sizable lead in the second half, Westfield inserted many of its non-starters into the game, but there wasn’t the slightest drop-off in skill. This was fully displayed through the play of Nick Martini, a running back who showed out upon receiving playing time. In the fourth quarter, he recorded his first-career TD, and received 13 total carries on the afternoon. He additionally ran for a pair of seven-yard carries, a game-high for the sophomore.

“That was a great feeling,” Martini said of his TD. “Thanksgiving Day, huge crowd — probably biggest of the year — and I just wanted to get one in. It felt great.”

Added Tim Alliegro, team leader in carries, of the full-team effort: “A lot of my friends got in. Nicky Martini got to score, which was amazing. I think it’s great that everybody played.”

Westfield quarterback Shapiro had himself a nice day, throwing for 143 yards and completing 10-of-19 passes. Two minutes out of halftime, he connected with Griffin Rooney for a seven-yard TD, which opened up the scoring in the second half.

Three minutes following the Shapiro-to-Rooney hookup, Westfield was awarded two points on a Plainfield safety. The Cardinals’ punter muffed a snap and with the ball lying on the ground, turned around and purposely booted it into the end zone just 10 yards away.

Plainfield also avoided a shutout in that eventful third quarter. Langston had a pair of major completions — one for 37 yards and another for 20 — before the Cardinals’ Antwan Spencer ran for a three-yard TD.

In addition to Barden’s monstrous pick-six, Jake Dayon recorded his first-career interception and Westfield’s second of the game. Dayon’s pick ceased a threatening Plainfield drive halfway through the fourth quarter.  

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Buy a Vet ... Program Helps Formerly Homeless Veterans

May 21, 2018

UNION COUNTY, NJ — It started with a collection to help fund a Memorial Day barbecue at the Valley Brook Village veterans facility in Lyons, NJ. When the bucket collection raised $7,000 at John's Meat Market in downtown Scotch Plains, they decided to keep it going and had barbecues all summer. The program has grown ever since.

Steve Hackenberg, a Scotch Plains native, ...

Important Information from the Westfield Board of Health

May 21, 2018

To the Editor:

The Westfield Board of Health held a meeting on May 7, 2018.  

The Board discussed bicycle safety. As the weather improves and more people get outside we encourage all bicycle riders to wear properly fitted helmets. All riders under the age of 17 are required to wear a helmet under state law. Bicycle safety information for children can be found at ...

Upcoming Events


Wed, May 23, 1:30 PM

Clark Volunteer Emergency Squad, Clark

Clark Community Blood Drive - $5 at Morano Gelato ...

Giving Back Health & Wellness


Wed, May 23, 6:30 PM

TD Bank Ballpark, Bridgewater

Somerset Patriots vs. Sugar Land Skeeters ...

Arts & Entertainment Sports


Thu, May 24, 11:00 AM

TD Bank Ballpark, Bridgewater

Somerset Patriots vs. Sugar Land Skeeters ...


Westfield Police Blotter: Counterfeit $100 Bills, Man Arrested in Car Burglary & More

May 16, 2018

May 8, 2018 2:23 p.m.

A business in the 200 block of East Broad Street reported receiving payment for services with a counterfeit $100 bill. The suspect made a small purchase with the counterfeit bill and received change, depriving the business of $94.24 change and $5.26 purchase. Suspect described as a black male 25-40 years of age, with facial hair wearing a black Nike wind breaker jacket ...

A Teacher's Cinderella Dream Comes True in Westfield!

May 23, 2018

Dancer/Educator Leilah Robinson always dreamed of owning a business that would fulfill her passion to help people. In 2017 she was asked to train and become stretching coach for KIKA STRETCH STUDIOS by college friend Hakika DuBose-Wise, who is the studios’ owner/founder. After training and learning the technique, she was thrilled to discover how life changing the experience was for ...

Ask Maria: How can I help my son? 

Q: My son's best friend's mom just passed away. I am concerned for my son and don't know what to do for him. He is distraught. How can I help my son? 


Grief is a normal and natural reaction to the death of a loved one. No two people grieve the same, even in the family. I am certain that your son’s friend and mom are like family to your son. Losing his ...

17 Homes Sold week of May 6 to May 13 2018 in Cranford, Westfield, Mountainiside, Fanwood and Scotch Plains

Seventeen homes sold week of May 6 to May 13, 2018, in Cranford, Scotch Plains, Westfield,  Mountainside and Fanwood:*



Dog Missing from Fanwood Home

UPDATE: Reunited with owner!

ORIGINAL POST: Lexi was seen north side of Fanwood Thursday. She's 25 lbs., tall and looks like a fox.

Lexi is friendly and was wearing a collar with a tag. Call 732-259-5570 if you spot her.

IRS Grants Relief for Taxpayers Affected by Reduction of Maximum Deductible HSA Contributions

The IRS recently announced relief for taxpayers with family coverage under a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) who contribute to a Health Savings Account (HSA).


For 2018, taxpayers with family coverage under an HDHP may treat $6,900 as the maximum deductible HSA contribution.


The annual amount had been reduced to $6,850 for 2018 under the Tax Cuts and Jobs ...

TAPinto Featured Franchisee: Steve Lenox of TAPinto Paterson

This week's feature will focus on TAPinto Paterson's franchisee, Steve Lenox. Find out how the current owner of a public affairs firm went from a former State Director for Senator Frank Lautenberg to a proud TAPinto franchisee for New Jersey's third largest city.


Q. When did you join

I joined in September, ...

Eight Westfield Student Vocalists Accepted into 2018-2019 All-State Choruses

Eight student vocalists from Westfield High School have been accepted into the 2018-2019 All-State Choruses.

Performing with the 2018 All-State Mixed Chorus in November will be Charlotte Geary, Zachary Lemberg, Joseph Maldonado, Vincent Mora, Nicole Player, and Matthew Siroty. The Mixed Chorus will perform at the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) Convention in November and at the New ...

‘Chambers USA 2018’ Recognizes John Schmidt Among List of America’s Leading Lawyers for Business

Lindabury, McCormick, Estabrook & Cooper is pleased to announce that John H. Schmidt has once again been recognized by “Chambers USA” in their annual list of leading lawyers for business. Chambers and Partners, which produces “Chambers USA,” is a client referral organization that researches and subjectively ranks attorneys and law firm practice groups nationwide ...

'Turning Off the Morning News' brings comic twist

‘Turning Off the Morning News’ tackles today’s issues with a comic twist

By Liz Keill

PRINCETON, N J – Despite the late night comics, no one quite captures the insanity of the political/social status world like Christopher Durang.

His latest play, “Turning off the Morning News” hit the ground running.  John Pankow as Jimmy addresses the audience, ...

SURVIVING A STROKE: Quick Medical Response Gives Mom Her Life Back

Carotid artery dissection. It’s one of the most common causes of stroke in younger adults.

And while you might not associate the word “stroke” with younger patients, the condition – if not treated immediately – could lead to paralysis and even death.

Lindsey Singh can attest to the importance of immediacy. The 31-year-old mother of two from Flanders experienced ...

Capitalist or Communist?

Karl Marx may have been the pioneer, but many other Jews were also involved in the struggle for communism, particularly in the early days of the Russian revolution. Personally, I don’t think that we have any apologies to make for this phenomenon. Having suffered unbearably under successive oppressive regimes, many of those political activists genuinely thought communism would be better ...

Stocks Can Rise in a Rising Interest Rate Environment

Investors remain concerned about the potential impact of higher interest rates on stocks. In their most recently released minutes, the Federal Reserve Open Markets Committee indicated the US economy is on solid footing and the economic conditions warrant continued gradual increasing of interest rates. This set off a sale in the stock and bond markets as investors began pricing in a fourth ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 15

On this week’s AtlantiCast, learn some important tips for controlling and avoiding diabetes from an Atlantic Health System expert, see how Atlantic Health is advancing cutting-edge research, hear what’s being done to keep health care environmentally friendly and much more!



Donn A. Snyder, 88, died at home on May 8 in Southern Shores, NC, where he was a resident for ...
Read more

Suspect Charged in Fatal North Plainfield Hit-and-Run Fled Country, Prosecutor Says

May 22, 2018

NORTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – A 36-year-old suspect charged in the hit-and-run death of a pedestrian May 15 has fled the country, according to Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson.

Charges have been filed against Mario Infante, age 36, of New Street, Plainfield, following an investigation by detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office and North Plainfield ...