Football Crushes Cedar Grove, Clinches Conference Title


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Frank Ferrari takes the ball 72 yards for Verona's first score.
Frank Ferrari takes the ball 72 yards for Verona’s first score.
In 2012, Verona High School was at the short end of a 14-6 football game against Cedar Grove. The Hillbilly defense was strong that day, but Verona’s quarterback–a sophomore by the name of Frank Ferrari–couldn’t get the connections he needed to get Verona over the top.

What a difference two years make. On Friday, under the direction of now senior Ferrari, the VHS offense all but obliterated the Panther defense as Verona defeated Cedar Grove 35-6. The win gives Verona an 8-0 record and a lock on the Super Essex Conference’s Colonial Division title.

Jimmie Crawford had 10 tackles--and a touchdown.
Jimmie Crawford had 10 tackles–and a touchdown.

As has been the case with nearly all of VHS’ games this season, the first half belonged entirely to the Maroon and White. Ferrari kicked things off with a bang with a 72-yard touchdown run and he ran in the extra point for good measure. The next two scores came from two players who have already been honored by the Verona Sports Boosters for their prowess on the field this season: Matt Intili and Jimmie Crawford. Ferrari scored again in the third quarter, and had 180 rushing yards on the night.

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Verona’s defense was as solid as the rocks under the ground here. Crawford and Nick DePaul had 10 tackles apiece, with DePaul throwing in a sack for good measure. Verona’s underclassmen again got good playing time, with sophomore Zack Zaccone getting another touchdown to his credit. Dan Diprenda had the lone score for Cedar Grove in the fourth quarter.

A solid wall of Hillbilly defenders shuts down Cedar Grove.
A solid wall of Hillbilly defenders shuts down Cedar Grove.

What’s next? The NJSIAA is expected to confirm the playoff brackets on Sunday, but it will likely have Verona as the #2 seed facing off against #7 Pompton Lakes. Verona is the #2 seed and faces #7 Pompton Lakes at home on Saturday, Nov. 15 at 1 p.m. The Hillbillies haven’t played Pompton Lakes this season, but in the past the Cardinals have often been a thorn in Verona’s side: Last year, after Verona scored an upset over Cresskill High School in the first round of the playoffs, Pompton Lakes soundly beat Verona 47-7 in game two. Pompton Lakes has a 5-4 record this season after back-to-back state titles. In this year’s other match-ups, Cresskill, which looks to be the #1 seed, will play #8 Saddle Brook, while Becton takes on Bogota and Boonton squares off against Hasbrouck Heights.

Matt Intili breaks through on his way to a TD.
Matt Intili breaks through on his way to a TD.

Photos copyright Jeff Stiefbold. Used by permission.

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