Sports

Football: Westfield Survives Scare, Erupts for 21 Unanswered to Defeat Rival Scotch Plains-Fanwood

b769ee6420fb0c9c96c6_7095bf7c8efdb88276a8_IMG_4756.jpg
The Westfield High School varsity football team will play Bridgewater-Raritan in the North 2, Group 5 state championship game at MetLife Stadium. Credits: Matt Kipp
ba0618aa3a8b96c0bad5_IMG_4832.jpg
Steven Barden, left, is congratulated by Juandre House after scoring on an 81-yard TD pass. Credits: Matt Kipp
4c42a81463b5c3c8f22f_IMG_4747.JPG
Salute to Soldiers ceremony. Credits: Matt Kipp
ce32fa5027ab35abf92f_IMG_4875.jpg
Steven Barden breaks the tackle of Scotch Plains' Shaarif Saleh. Credits: Matt Kipp
90864d5896e277da21aa_IMG_4791.jpg
Juandre House, right, runs through a hole oppened up by his O-Line. Credits: Matt Kipp
d0e10388b47da11e5b86_IMG_4831.JPG
Hank Shapiro makes a pass. Shapiro threw for 301 yards and 4 TDs. Credits: Matt Kipp
e53e56546586876ffdf1_IMG_4812.jpg
Tim Alliegro breaks a tackle while running upfield. Credits: Matt Kipp
c632f4980df77a95a3d7_IMG_4836.jpg
Stevie Barden is this week’s Ron Bansky and Associates Allstate Westfield Athlete of the Week. Credits: Matt Kipp
df62c0eb41e9c766dde3_IMG_4859.jpg
Scotch Plains QB Cooper Heisey tossed 308 yards and leads the state with 2,320. Credits: Matt Kipp
d68e9fe92127e4a96be5_IMG_4865.jpg
Adam McDaniel facilitates Westfield's defensive backfield. Credits: Matt Kipp
b352d5242d52311a6d93_IMG_4887.jpg
Westfield celebrates a second half TD. Credits: Matt Kipp
1b4e32031492320581df_IMG_4824.jpg
Will Kessler, right, makes a tackle on Scotch Plains' Javin Scott. Credits: Matt Kipp
9e7873659ffd145ddaa4_IMG_4879.jpg
Westfield's D-Line in formation. Credits: Matt Kipp
af0751d76138a4739ee6_IMG_4793.jpg
Hank Shapiro escapes the pocket. Credits: Matt Kipp
6a3fd99cc04262f127dc_IMG_4847.jpg
Jake Vall-llobera contests Cooper Heisey's pass. Credits: Matt Kipp
0c414bb2ab575b226207_IMG_4903.jpg
Nick Martini, left, stiff-arms Mateo Velez on a carry. Credits: Matt Kipp
2459132e1633ed86979a_IMG_4762.jpg
Westfield and Scotch Plains-Fanwood put their rivalry aside during pregrame handshakes. Credits: Matt Kipp
40e8970899dece91e4aa_IMG_4902.jpg
Westfield's O-Line prevents Scotch Plains from getting to QB Hank Shapiro. Credits: Matt Kipp
72fcb7ae5be3c1e73a33_IMG_4746.JPG
Salute to Soldiers ceremony. Credits: Matt Kipp
397069c23adde9e3033a_IMG_4745.JPG
Salute to Soldiers ceremony. Credits: Matt Kipp
b769ee6420fb0c9c96c6_7095bf7c8efdb88276a8_IMG_4756.jpg

WESTFIELD — At halftime Saturday, Westfield’s 33-game winning streak appeared to be in jeopardy, but the Blue Devils thwarted any possibility of an upset against their archrivals in a three-touchdown second half.

Scoring 21 unanswered points in the final two quarters, Westfield held off its foe Scotch Plains-Fanwood, 35-14, during the Salute to Soldiers football game Saturday afternoon at Kehler Stadium.

Quarterback Hank Shapiro came alive in the final 24 minutes and tossed three touchdown passes to propel Westfield to its eighth victory of the season. Shapiro found Emmitt Smith in the endzone to conclude the opening drive of the second half to give Westfield the go-ahead score. The quarterback then hit with Steven Barden and Griffin Rooney on additional scoring plays to put the game on ice.

Sign Up for E-News

Shapiro finished the game with 301 total passing yards and four touchdowns, while Barden hauled in a game-high 146 receiving yards in addition to two scores.

“[Scotch Plains] came out with a lot of fire, but we came back and gave them more fire,” Barden said. “We shut them down, they couldn’t stop us, and we came out with a dub.”

“Westfield versus Scotch Plains goes way back, many years before I was even born,” Barden added. “It’s nice to play in these type of games, because it’s a bunch of emotion and all love.”

Westfield’s offense was rolling all afternoon long, as the Blue Devils matched their season-high of 35 points scored. In addition to the team’s second half aerial attack, Westfield put up 14 points in the first half.

Shapiro threw his first of two TD passes to Barden on an 81-yard TD hookup, which gave Westfield a 14-6 lead in the second quarter after Scotch Plains had struck first. Westfield received its first score of the game on Jake Vall-Llobera’s one-yard run into the end zone.

In total, the Blue Devils accumulated 401 yards of offense on 64 total plays.

“We were able to get Stevie Barden and our wideouts open today, which was great,” said Westfield head coach Jim DeSarno. “We kind of want to take what the defense is giving us, and they gave us the passes, so we took it.”

While Westfield cruised to victory in the second half, it was a different story at the beginning of the game.

Despite opposing a winless opponent in Scotch Plains-Fanwood, Westfield was facing one of the most potent offenses in the Mid-State 38 conference, and the Raiders displayed their prowess early on. They scored on the first drive of the game after keeping the drive alive on an executed fake punt, and knotted up the score at 14 after Isaiah Stewart’s seven-yard TD late in the second quarter.

The Raiders’ 14 points are the most any opposing team has scored on Westfield this season, and it’s not a huge surprise that they are the first team to score multiple times on the Blue Devils’ defense. Quarterback Cooper Heisey is the leading passer in the state with 2,320 yards, and 308 of them came Saturday. Heisey’s top target was Dwight Laylor, who hauled in 116 yards.

“Those [Scotch Plains] kids aren’t going to quit, and I’ve got a lot of respect for them and their coaches,” DeSarno said. “We knew that coming in, this was not going to be an easy walk-over game. Those kids work hard and they’re going to give their best effort, and we knew we were going to get it.”

Westfield took advantage of many costly Scotch Plains turnovers during the course of the game. On three occasions, the Blue Devils recovered Raider fumbles from inside the redzone. Additionally, Jacob Dayton intercepted a Heisey pass and brought it to Raiders’ one-yard line, leading to Vall-Llobera’s first quarter score.

Defensively, Westfield stepped up its game in the second half and did a great job of limiting Scotch Plains’ rushing attack. In addition to shutting out its opponent in the final two quarters, the Blue Devils limited the Raiders to 21 yards on the ground and stopped 12-of-13 Scotch Plains third down attempts.

“[The defense] woke up a little bit, played better; we got a little more pressure on the quarterback in the second half,” DeSarno said. “Our defense tightened up, and that helped us offensively.”

Prior to the game, Westfield’s Salute to Soldiers event was considered a major success. Members from the United State Armed Forces were honored on the field and received a rousing ovation from the capacity crowd at Kehler Stadium.  

The next task for Westfield is beginning of the road to its third consecutive state title. The Blue Devils commence the playoffs next Saturday, and will likely be hosting Watchung Hills, per the powerpoint system.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Westfield

Westfield Firefighters Give Assist at Overnight House Fire in Garwood

July 12, 2018

GARWOOD, NJ - The Westfield and Clark fire departments were on hand to assist at a house fire early Thursday morning in Garwood.  The fire was in the upper levels of a vacant home on Willow Avenue, according to officials.

Clark Fire Chief Frank Cerasa confirmed that five Clark firefighters took one engine to the site. One witness reported seeing emergency responders from ...

Change The Early Morning Timing on Central Ave. Traffic Light

July 12, 2018

In connection with asking Union County to review the signal timing, PLEASE also consider the timing early in the morning. I frequently am heading south on Central to Metropark Station to catch the 6 a.m. train. Whenever I am at the intersection prior to 5:30 a.m., the timing is such that a green light (going south) lasts for less than the amount of time it takes to get one car through the ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_ba9c4627da28fb176206_mini_magick20180618-30381-9jxo6y

Tue, July 17, 6:00 PM

Westfield Presbyterian Church, Westfield

Youth Mental Health First Aid

Education Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_ba183db7fcc1f0f9f274_1d4v9034a

Wed, July 18

Westfield Area YMCA, Westfield

Westfield Area YMCA Wellness Wednesdays

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_6bb3683d2a03ed40d943_scan0046

Thu, July 19, 7:30 PM

Mindowaskin Park, Westfield

Free Swing Band Concert in Mindowaskin Park

Arts & Entertainment

Westfield Police Blotter: Car Scratchings, Car Burglaries Continue & More

July 11, 2018

July 2, 2018 11:37 p.m.

Chad Doriral, age 32, of Brooklyn, NY was arrested for possession of CDS pursuant to a motor vehicle stop. Subject was processed and released on summons.

July 3, 2018 11:08 p.m.

Divine Kennedy, age 19, of Newark, NJ was arrested on the strength of an outstanding warrant for his arrest from Westfield Municipal Court in the amount of $1,000.00. Further investigation ...

Video: Point View's Petrides Talks Netflix's Cash Burn as Company Reports Earnings

July 17, 2018

Point View Wealth Management's Managing Director and Portfolio Manager, John Petrides, live on Cheddar.com discussing Netflix's earnings report and why the streaming service should dilute shareholders to plug its cash burn.

cheddar.com/videos/netflix-earnings-preview

​​​​​​For more than 25 years, Point View Wealth Management, Inc. has been ...

Big Changes in Store for New Jersey’s Employers and Employees

Big changes are in store for New Jersey’s workplaces, with dramatic legislation aimed at improving conditions for New Jersey’s workers. These changes include the enactment of New Jersey’s Equal Pay Act, a new law to help the unemployed, and passage of New Jersey’s Paid Sick Leave Act. Most likely one or all these laws will impact you or someone in your family.

New ...

Understand NJ's Shared Responsibility Act

Last year, the President signed legislation that repealed the “penalty tax” for not having health insurance for tax years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2019.

 

On May 31, Governor Murphy signed into law the “New Jersey Health Insurance Market Preservation Act,” which establishes a “shared responsibility tax” for state residents without ...

5 Simple Ways to Save Water this Summer

According to the L.A. Times, the average American uses an estimated 98 gallons of water EACH day.  

Here are five simple ways you can save water, to help you conserve water this summer and take some pressure off of your drains.

1. Unless you are using it, turn the faucet off. How many of us still leave the water running while we shave or brush our teeth?According to ...

26 Homes Sold July 8-15 in Westfield and Surrounding Towns

There were 26 homes sold between July 8 and July 15 in Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Cranford and Mountainside`

TOWN          ADDRESS    STYLE            RMS   BRS BTH   GAR   Sale Price

Cranford  115  Bryant Ave ...

Dog Found in Garwood

UPDATE: Reunited with owner.

ORIGINAL POST: Dog found on Pine Avenue in Garwood. He was given food and water. Garwood police now has him. Sweet and friendly. Contact the Garwood Police Department.

It's Not What You Are Eating, It's What's Eating You

EMOTIONAL EATING: FEEDING YOUR FEELINGS

Emotional eating can be described as episodes of binge-eating, grazing and/or eating when not hungry to soothe feelings. Emotional eaters have a pattern of eating to cope with stress, emotional conflicts and problems of daily life.

Emotional eating is eating for reasons other than hunger. Instead of physical symptoms initiating the eating, ...

What Is Your Bottom Line?

This week's Parshah (Torah reading) is the Parshah of Pinchas the Zealot: the courageous young priest who stood up against idolatry and immorality and, in the end, saved Israel from a devastating plague.

While Pinchas' radical response made him a hero worthy of having a Torah section named after him, we wouldn't necessarily suggest to our children ...

'Servant of Two Masters' exudes foolish fun

‘Servant of Two Masters’ makes for foolish, frivolous fun

By Liz Keill

MADISON, NJ –Carlo Goldoni’s “The Servant of Two Masters,” in a rousing translation and adaptation by Bonnie J. Monte, has the outdoor audience at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey laughing and clapping all the way through.

The yearly production, held at the amphitheatre on the ...

ELL Summer Experience at Westfield Public Schools

Westfield students representing six different languages recently enjoyed a weeklong summer camp focused on providing meaningful enrichment activities for students to continue their English language acquisition while having fun.

The ELL (English Language Learners) Summer Experience ran from July 9-13 at Wilson School, welcoming students in grades 1-4 whose native languages are Russian, ...

Westfield Area YMCA: Take Swim Lessions This Summer

The Westfield Area YMCA is providing a free one-week guest pass to non-members which will also enable access to purchase a week of swim lessons at full member rates during the summer.  The one-week guest pass includes use of the Y’s fitness facilities, land and water group exercise classes and open gym/swim.

“Our goal is to have people of all ages and skill levels grow to ...

Woman Struck by Car in Bridgewater Mall Parking Lot Dies

July 12, 2018

Bridgewater, NJ - A Bedminster woman has died from her injuries after she was struck by a car in the parking lot of the Bridgewater Commons Mall Monday.

Marion Kelley, 62, was struck by a vehicle while walking in lot four near the Macy's merchandise pick up area at around 3:20 p.m. Monday.

The 2017 Mazda was driven by Chinmayi Parikh, 33, of Piscataway.

The crash is still being ...

Obituaries

Eric Lieberman, 47, of Scotch Plains, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly Tuesday, May 22, 2018 ...
Read more