HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, N.J. – Senior quarterback Frank Quatrone ran for four touchdowns, including a 79-yarder on Hasbrouck Heights' second play from scrimmage, as the Aviators defeated Cresskill, 34-6, as a steady drizzle fell Friday night at Depken Field. The Aviators improved to 3-0 and took control of the North Jersey Interscholastic Football Meadowlands Division race. Cresskill drops to 2-1.
After the Aviators forced the Cougars to punt on their first possession, the Aviators took over at their own 14-yard line. After running back John Iurato dashed for 7 yards, setting up a second and three, Quatrone induced the Cresskill defense to jump offside for a first down. Heights was penalized for illegal procedure on the next play, setting up a first and 15 at the 21.
Quatrone dashed through the hole created by left guard Travis Culkin and left tackle Ian Harrington and outraced the Cresskill defense for an early 6-0 lead.
Cresskill quarterback Jack Maltby tried to throw the Cougars back into the game, marching down into Aviator territory. But on a third-and-two pass, defensive back Phillip Viola picked off a pass in the right flat at the Heights 28 and raced to the Cresskill 15 before being dragged down from behind. Four plays later, on a fourth and three, Quatrone raced into the end zone from 8 yards away and a 12-0 lead. Joey Giancaspro’s kick was good, and the Aviators led 13-0.
The Aviator defense, which had another outstanding game, came up with a huge goal-line stand, early in the second quarter, breaking up three Maltby’s passes with the Cougars at second and goal at the Heights 5-yard line. Jordan Wexler and Dylan Freschi forced to Maltby to hurry his throws, shutting down the drive.
The Aviators, however, could not move the ball out of the shadow of their end zone, forcing a Jasiah Purdy punt.
The Cougars tried the passing game once again to get on the board. On a fourth and 12, Aviator defensive back James Klenk intercepted Maltby’s toss toward the goal, giving the Aviators the ball at their own 6-yard line.
Cresskill got on the board in the final seconds of the first half when Quatrone was picked off by Cresskil’s Johnny Van Cleft, who rambled 70 yards down to the Aviator 2-ard line, with just 24 seconds left. Iurato, never gave up on the play and chased down Van Cleft, tripping him up with a diving tackle inside the 5.
Cresskill cut the Heights lead to 13-6 when Maltby scored on a quarterback sneak from the 2. After Heights was penalized prior to the extra point attempt for being offsides, Cresskill coach Kevin Quinn decided to go for two. But the conversion was broken up, and Heights left at the half, clinging to a one-score lead.
But Quatrone took over the game in the third quarter, scoring his third touchdown of the game on the opening possession of the second half, giving the Aviators a 19-6 lead with 8:28 remaining in the third quarter.
After Heights forced Cresskill to punt on their opening possession, Quatrone iced the game with his fourth touchdown run of the night, this time going 35 yards for a 25-6 lead. He hit Phil Miller in the end zone for the 2-point conversion, and Heights had a convincing 27-6 lead.
Iurato scored the final touchdown of the game, after sophomore running back Nick Monahan and fullback Nico Facchini pushed the ball down the field. Iurato scored on a 2-yard run to close the scoring.
Hasbrouck Heights travels to Saddle Brook next Saturday afternoon. Cresskill will host St. Mary Rutherford next Friday.