***Brearley displayed persistent ball control and solid defense on the way to important road victory at Roselle Park in Mid-State 38!
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***Park Ridge is asserting itself as team to watch this season in North 1, Group 1, and with its QB Evan Matthews & superb 'D' the Owls shined in key win at Saddle Brook. Read "Feature Articles"
***In looking at SEC girls soccer, some hot topics include Caldwell's keeper vs. Montclair and nation's No. 1 side visiting Fortunato Field to face Mounties. See "The Buzz"
Nutley running back Craig Merkle uses his Maroon Raider lineman Nick Lovatto (75) for protection while picking up some yardage vs. Montclair in Saturday's 35-28 Nutley victory. (Photo by Jeff Gaskin)
Nutley Able To Produce Its Own Big Plays
To Edge An Explosive Montclair, 35-28
By Mark Tosh
NUTLEY – Nutley High School football coach Tom Basile, whose Raiders had won the first three games of the 2015 season by scoring 172 points, knew that his high-scoring offense was going to be challenged by the lightening-quick scoring potential of Montclair High as the teams headed into Saturday’s showdown.
“They are so explosive,” Basile said following the Super Essex Conference crossover game at Nutley’s Tangorra Field in Park Oval. “Their running back and receiver and their tight end/wingback are just explosive players. They have the ability to score from anywhere and at anytime. We’re more of a ball-control team. What they get in two plays, it might take us 15.”
Fortunately, Nutley was able to score both on long drives and long passes Saturday. The Raiders’ methodical ground game racked up three rushing touchdowns and senior quarterback Anthony Condito added a 49-yard touchdown pass that proved to be the difference in the Raiders’ 35-28 victory over Montclair. Condito’s third-down pass to senior wide out Dean DiLauri with 4:59 remaining broke a 28-28 tie and sealed the Raiders’ fourth straight victory to start the season.
Condito (6-of-14 for 99 yards, 1 TD passing and 18 carries for 54 yards) also scored twice on rushing attempts of 1 and 8 yards and he added a pick-six in the second quarter.
The result establishes Nutley as a Group 3, North 2, team to be reckoned with, while the 0-4 and three-time defending state champion Mounties are facing an uphill battle to qualify for the Group 5 football playoffs. Montclair has not started a football season at 0-4 since 1925.
“This is the biggest win in a long time,” said Basile who is in his fourth season as head coach and 12th overall with the Raiders. “It’s the biggest in my career.”
“We work hard every week in practice, and every practice was leading up to this game,” Condito added. “We had confidence, and we definitely had no doubts in each other. We all worked together – quasi unius – and we all rise as one.”
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