The Newark Academy Minutemen coughed up the football on the initial play from the line of scrimmage on a fumble caused by juniors Luke Sniatkowski and Frank Greco. On the next play, Greco scampered 25 yards aided by a wide open hole made by Sniatkowski and fellow junior offensive lineman Ryan Flood. The extra point attempt failed, making it 6-0.
Moments later the Hillbillies scored again when freshman QB Frank Ferrari gave an inside handoff to WR Billy Meade, who ran 17 yards into the end zone untouched for a 12-0 lead. VHS struck again in the second quarter when Ferrari dropped back and hit junior WR Michael Harrington on a 30-yard TD pass. It was Harrington’s first game back since breaking his elbow in the first game of the year; he also had an interception in the second quarter.
Right before the half came to an end, the Minutemen, under pressure from DE Nick Rollo, passed the ball right into Greco’s hand. He in turn ran the ball 25 yards for the ‘billies fourth score of the half. Verona’s season-long struggle to convert extra points continued as they missed their fourth in a row, sending them into halftime with a 24-0 lead.
In the first series of the second half Verona marched down the field setting up their fifth and final score on the day. The offensive line consisting of Sniatkowski at tight end, Rollo, Flood , Tom Cundari, Joe Pami and Luke Weiss were able to blow open a wide open hole for Greco to run 40 yards for his 3rd TD on the day. Verona was able to complete their 5th attempt at an extra point when Ferrari hit Meade to take a 32-0 lead. Coach Racioppe, sensing the game was in hand, substituted freely the rest of the way enabling many underclassmen including freshman to get their first taste of varsity football. The final score was Verona 32-Newark Academy 15.
Greco, taking advantage of running behind blocking backs Matt McKeown and Jack Cummings, ran for 100 yards on the day. Sniatkowski, Harrington and Meade combined for six receptions and Michael Perri joined Greco in leading the Hillbillies with a combined 14 tackles. Verona is hoping to finally to play on their home turf, Selitto Field, on Saturday when they have a 1 p.m. home game at VHS.
Game shots courtesy Donna Giuliano.