Four Verona Eagles teams took on four teams from Nutley’s youth football league last weekend, and it was Verona victories all around. Here are some recaps of the A and B team games, with photos of C team action courtesy of Heidi Huze.
Verona Eagles A Team 16 – Nutley Raiders 0
Two tough football teams met on the turf at Centennial Field on Sunday. When the tussle was over, it was the Eagles who walked away with the 16-0 victory over the Nutley Raiders.
Special teams were responsible for the Eagles first score, as the Nutley punter struck his own blocker in the back. Mark Riggio plucked the ball out of the air and raced 28 yards for the score. Michael Carlucci’s extra point kick split the uprights giving the Eagles an 8-0 lead.
The hard-hitting Eagles D was swarming on the Raiders next possessions. Brian Valentine, Sam Cummings, Mike Stanisci, Sean Crawford, and Matt Zebrowski stuffed the run. David Gautieri and Dane Kish each had a QB sack, forcing the Raiders to punt time and again.
Zebrowski would hit a streaking Johnny DeMartinis down the right sideline for a 22-yard touchdown pass to give the Eagles a 14-0 lead. Again Carlucci’s kick was perfect, and Nutley was staring at a 16-0 deficit at half time.
The second half did not have any scoring, but there were still some huge offensive plays. Zebo tossed a 25-yard pass to Stanisci, and a 30 yarder to DeMartinis, who made a sparkling catch going up and over a defender to snare the ball.
Rigg capped a stellar day by picking off a pass with eight minutes to play, and Zach Zaccone would intercept the final Nutley pass of the day with 1:30 to play.
The Eagles will take a 2-1 record into their contest against Fairfield this Sunday.
Verona Eagles AJV 27 – Nutley Raiders 12
A dominant Eagles AJV team improved its record to 3-0 with a 27-12 victory over the Nutley Raiders.
On the first play of the game, Zach Zaccone dropped back and hit Colin Kiernan with a perfect strike for a 50-yard gain. However, a turnover stalled the drive deep in Nutley territory. Nutley struck for the game’s first points on a 70-yard TD pass, taking a 6-0 lead.
That lead would be short-lived. Zaccone hooked up with Chuck Cerle on a 48-yard pass play to the Raiders 15 yard line. Matt Zaccone threw a key block to spring Cerle after the catch. Zach Zaccone ran the ball in for the Eagles, and also scored the extra point on a quarterback keeper to give the Eagles a 7-6 lead.
Pete Marlo and Chris Aldiero stepped up on the next defensive series, each tackling the Nutley ball-carrier for a loss. Chris Festa picked off a pass, and the Eagles O was back in business.
Sean Ryan took off on a 24 yard run inside the 10 yard line, and Mike Mughetto punched it in from 6 yards out. Z passed to Cerle for the point after and it was 14-6 Eagles.
The defense continued to stymie Nutley on the next possession. Mughetto, Chris Lonergan, Austin Camp, and Matt Gautieri all punished the Raider’s ball carriers.
The Eagles would score twice more to build a 27-6 lead. Jake Houthysen set-up one score with a 27 yard run. Zach Zaccone passed 30 yards to Cerle for one TD, and ran five yards for the other. He also tossed an extra point pass to his brother Matt.
Nutley scored late to make the final score 27-12.
Verona Eagles B 15 – Nutley Raiders 6
Coach Gerald Deluisi’s B Team took on Nutley Sunday in a battle of unbeaten teams at Centennial Field. When the dust settled, the Eagles were the only team still undefeated, winning by a 15-6 margin.
The Eagles rode Joe Zecchino’s legs and CJ Lavery’s arm to their first score. Lavery dropped back and hit Steven Priscoe with a perfectly thrown 30-yard pass. Zecchino then took over, rumbling 17 yards on one carry, and then 15 more on another, finally being tackled on the one yard line. Once again, Zecchino’s number 44 was called in the huddle, and he delivered with a one-yard touchdown run. Lavery would follow with the extra point and the Eagles led 7-0.
There was no quit in the Raiders. They rebounded to score, pulling within one point at the half, 7-6.
Again, it was Zecchino who gave the team a spark, intercepting a Nutley pass early in the 2nd half, his second of the game. Zecchino pounded through the Nutley D on a 28-yard run down to the one yard line. From there CJ did the rest, scoring on a QB sneak. When Lavery hit Dean Ramsthaler with the 2-point conversion, it gave the Eagles a two score lead at15-6.
From there, it was the defense that squashed the Nutley hopes. Jack Swanstrom, Nick Galluccio, Andrew Leuhs, Brandan Cariani, and Frank Gabriele swarmed all over anyone with a ball in their hand and a maroon jersey!
David Festa picked off Nutley on their final drive to put the final nail in the coffin.
Now 3-0, Coach Deluisi’s team is one of two undefeated teams in the B-League. Florham Park is the other. Circle Octobr 29 on your calendar, as that is when these two teams will meet.
Verona Eagles BJV 7 – Nutley Raiders 0
The Eagles BJV White team improved to 3-1 on the season with a hard-fought 7-0 win over a tough Nutley squad.
The game’s only touchdown was scored on a double-reverse, as quarterback Nick Giuliano handed off to Matt Frungillo, who then handed off to Brian Hipp. Hipp bolted 20 yards for the score. Giuliano and Frungillo would hook up on the extra point pass to complete the scoring.
A rugged Eagles defense dominated the day. Sparked by the return of Anthony Zamloot from a broken thumb, the Raiders would find it tough to move the ball. When Steven Creech tackled the Raider ball carrier for a five-yard loss on the first play of the game, Nutley knew they were in for a long day. Brendan Wallace contributed a quarterback sack, and Zamloot intercepted a Raider pass. Other key contributors on defense were Zach Balogh, Michael Carsillo, Chris Sabo, Alan Stoloff, Matt Aldiero, Gavin Freeman, Jack Gautieri, and Michael Johnson.
Coach Frungillo’s team responded well from their first loss of the season. They will look for their fourth win this weekend.