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Defense Rules As Hasbrouck Heights Tops Harrison in MFL Games

Senior Aviator quarterback hands off to running back Rocco Minichiello in the first half against Harrison. Photo Credit: Faith Ballantine-Armonaitis
Senior Aviator Rocco Minichiello stretches for the end zone in the first half against Harrison. Photo Credit: Faith Ballantine-Armonaitis
Junior Aviator Anthony Dilascio runs behind his blockers on the way to his second touchdown of the game. Photo Credit: Faith Ballantine-Armonaitis
Pee Wee Aviator Robert Daddario looks to sweep right around the Harrison defensive line. Photo Credit: Faith Ballantine-Armonaitis

HARRISON, N.J. -- Defense ruled the day as Hasbrouck Heights' defense registered two shutout victories over Harrison in Meadowlands Football League action Saturday evening in Harrison.

Seniors: Steven Faussette scored two touchdowns, and the Hasbrouck Heights special teams came up with a pair of on-side kicks as the Aviators beat Harrison 29-0. The Aviators finished the regular season in second place in the Northern Division with a 7-1 record.

The game opened with a bang, as Faussette broke a long run on the first play of the game, but was hit from behind and fumbled, with Harrison recovering the ball in the end zone. The Blue Tide controlled the ball the rest of the first half, but a fumbled exchange on a fourth and eight as the quarter ended gave Heights the ball at the Heights 42.

Rocco Minichiello ripped through the Blue Tide defense, covering 49 yards on two carries, giving the Aviators the ball at the 9-yard line. After Justin Mucci was stopped for a yard gain, Faussette went eight yards for a 6-0 lead. Jake Diaz picked up an errant snap on the extra point attempt and dashed into the end zone for a 7-0 lead.

Minichiello recovered the ensuing kickoff and continued his domination on the ground, going 27 yards on the first carry to get the ball down to the 11. After Faussette was sacked for a 10-yard loss, he bounced around right end for 10 yards to make it third and one. Minichiello barreled in from the two-yard line and a 13-0 lead. Diaz’s kick hit the crossbar to make the score 13-0.

Special teams continued to dominate, as senior Aviators Blake Freschi and Diaz combined to recover the ball at the Harrison 47 at the four-minute warning. Diaz then became the focus of the offense, catching two passes from Faussette for 35 yards and rushing for 12, including a two-yard touchdown run, for a 19-0 lead. Diaz also converted the kick for a two-point conversion and a 21-0 halftime lead.

Mucci hit Faussette with a 54-yard pass on the final play of the third quarter for the game’s final score.

Juniors : Anthony Dilascio scored all three times he touched the ball, as the Aviators crushed Harrison 28-0. Dilascio has scored each of the last six times he has touched the ball over the last two games.

Following Heights' recovery on the opening kickoff, Dilascio went 50 yards on the first play of the game for a 7-0 lead.

Harrison was turned away on fourth and two, and Heights took over at their own 46 yard line. Dilascio took the ball off left tackle and went 54 yards for a 13-0 Aviator lead. Shane Ike ran in the conversion for a 14-0 lead.

Once again, Heights' defense shut down the Blue Tide, forcing Harrison to punt. Following an eight-yard run by Ike, Dilascio went 22-yards for his third touchdown of the evening . AJ Parente ran in the conversion for a 21-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Following another punt by Harrison, which pinned the Junior Aviator offense back at the 20, Evan Werner went 80 yards on a quarterback keeper, for Hasbrouck Heights fourth touchdown on five plays and a 28-0 lead.

Pee-Wees: Harrison’s defense shut down the resurgent running game of the Aviators, leading the Blue Tide to a 14-0 victory in the night's opener.

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