Bob DiTrani’s C Team won back to back Super Bowls, defeating a tough Cedar Grove squad 18-13. The Eagles finished the season with a 9-1 record.
Zander Zebrowski started off the scoring with a quick touchdown after a Cedar Grove punt. The defense, led by Ryan Stanicsi, Richard DiGeronimo, Patrick Yeates and Shane Lawless held a very strong Cedar Grove team in check most of the day, but it was two outstanding offensive plays that turned the tide for the Eagles.
Late in the first half, Coach DiTrani reached in his bag of tricks and called the “Fumble-Rooskie” play, which he used to score a touchdown in last year’s semi-final game. The results were the same this year, as Frankie Riggio sprinted 40 yards with a hand-off from Zander Zebrowski behind the blocking of Andrew Emanuilidis and Clay Gresham. The Eagles led 12-7 at halftime and then had to hold off a very spirited Cedar Grove team. After having some difficulty moving the ball on the ground, Zebrowski faded back to pass behind the blocking of Christian DiOnisio, Bryan McKeen and Robert Sposato. Jake McConnachie then went up between two defenders to snatch the pass and complete a 50-yard touchdown.
The Eagles then surrendered a quick touchdown to Cedar Grove before running out the clock behind the excellent blocking of Nicky Gonzalez, Jake Milmoe and Issac Skrivanic.
Congratulations to Coach DiTrani, his coaching staff, and all the players for a near flawless season.
Verona Eagles B Team 21 – Nutley 6
Coach Gerald DeLuisi has had a bad taste in his mouth since last year’s Super Bowl defeat. Sunday’s 21-6 Super Bowl win over Nutley should go a long way towards changing that. The win was DeLuisi’s second Super Bowl title in the past three years.
Frank Gabriele shot the gap between center and guard and sacked the quarterback on 3rd down, forcing Nutley to punt. Steven Priscoe blocked the punt and recovered it at the Nutley 32 yard line. From there, the Eagles pounded the ball on the ground with Joe Zecchino getting tough yards between the tackles. Quarterback CJ Lavery dropped back and hit Priscoe with a 16-yard touchdown pass for the first points of the game. Lavery also ran in the point after, and it was 7-0 Eagles.
Nutley took the ensuing kickoff and drove the ball to the Eagles 20, but the drive stalled out as Nick Galluccio stayed home on a reverse and made a huge tackle. The game would go to the half with the Eagles leading 7-0.
Nutley’s opening possession of the second half ended when Dean Ramsthaler intercepted a Raider pass. However the Eagles were forced to punt soon after, and Nutley returned it 55 yards for a score. The Raiders coaches elected to try to kick a 2-point conversion, but the Eagles blocked it and had a narrow 7-6 lead.
Lavery found a wide-open Robert Coppola down the left sideline for a huge 57-yard pass play down to the Nutley 4 yard line. 2 plays later CJ snuck it into the end zone between Brandon Cariani and Tyler Jackson. The extra point pass to Ramsthaler was good and the Eagles had a 15-6 lead.
Knowing Nutley would be forced to pass, Defensive Coordinator Ed Shields had his team ready. Nutley threw downfield and Lavery was waiting. He picked off a pass and raced 50 yards for the score. A block in the back call nullified the touchdown but the Eagles kept the ball.
Ramsthaler took off on a 30-yard run behind blocks by Billy Fauerbach, Andrew Luehs and Brendan McKeown. From there, CJ did the rest, bolting around right end for a 25-yard touchdown, which put the game on ice.
Congratulations to the Coach DeLuisi, his coaches, and all the players on their 9-1 Super Bowl Season. All the hard work since mid-August has paid off. Next season they will be looking to repeat!