HALEDON, NJ – The Manchester Junior Falcons defeated the Hasbrouck Heights Aviators in two critical games in the Meadowlands Football League on Sunday afternoon at Manchester Regional High School.
Seniors: In a battle of previously unbeaten teams, Manchester defeated Heights 30-12 in a game that hinged on the third play of the game.
After an 11-yard run by Justin Mucci to open the game, Mucci hit Steven Faussette with what appeared to be a 52-yard touchdown pass and a 6-0 lead. However, the officials ruled that Faussette was down before the goal line, giving the Aviators first and goal at the two.
On the next play, Fausette’s pass to Mucci was picked off by Manchester’s Troy Leary Jr. and returned 101 yards for a 6-0 Manchester lead. The extra point, tried after an unsportsmanlike penalty on the return was charged to Manchester, was no good for a 6-0 lead.
Heights bounced back on the next drive, with Faussette scoring from five yards away and a 6-6 tie.
The second quarter belonged to Manchester as Leary scored on an inside reverse from 29 yards on the opening play of the quarter. Skylar Venezia’s extra point gave the Falcons a 14-6 lead. Tyion Smith scored from 2 yards, after the Falcons recovered the ensuing kickoff at the Aviator 37-yard line, with Venezia’s second extra point giving Manchester a 22-6 lead.
Mucci cut the lead to 22-12 prior to halftime, scoring from 12 yards away.
A second inside reverse to Leary gave the Falcons their final score in the third quarter.
Manchester is now 6-0, with two games remaining, in the Northern Division. Hasbrouck Heights falls to 5-1.
Juniors: Jeffrey Lopez’s 10-yard run in overtime lifted Manchester over Heights 13-6, in a game for first place in the Northern Division. The Falcons and Aviators now both sit 5-1 in the division.
Manchester broke up a scoreless tie in the second quarter as Luca Lombardo hit Na’Shawn Jones with a 67-yard touchdown pass for a 6-0 lead. The conversion failed.
Heights running back Anthony Dilascio scored with under two minutes left in the game from two yards out following a defensive stand that saw Heights get the ball back after Manchester held the Aviators on downs the series before.
The Falcons' defense was able to stop the Junior Aviators' offense during its possession in overtime, giving Manchester the win.
Pee-Wees: Hasbrouck Heights quarterback Ethan Perez scored two touchdowns as the Aviators won their second straight game, 14-0, in the day’s opening game. Perez opened the scoring in the first quarter. Robert Daddario converted the extra point for a 7-0 lead.
In the fourth quarter, with Manchester trying to mount a comeback, Perez picked off a pass, returning it to the Manchester 1-yard line.
Following a Nick Grasso plunge that fell short of the goal line, Perez scored on a quarterback keeper for a 13-0 lead. He then ran for the conversion and the 14-0 final score.
Hasbrouck Heights hosts Saddle Brook next weekend while Manchester travels to New Milford.