The Verona High School football team improved its record to 7-0 with a 38-26 win over Cedar Grove on Friday night.
As has been the case in most Hillbilly football games this season, Verona got on the scoreboard first, when quarterback Cael Zebrowski flipped the ball to Shane Lawless and then Lawless fired it 43 yards downfield into the waiting hands of Jake McConnachie. A few minutes later, Frank Riggio covered a wide swath of the Panther field to set up what would be the first of four Riggio TDs on the evening. The Hillbillies pushed the scoring to 17-0 in the second quarter with a 40-yard field goal by Steven Luehs.
It was only then that Cedar Grove got in the end zone. George Slattery scored on a short toss from Dario Bryant. Riggio took the score to 24-7 Verona and the Panthers’ next attempt at scoring momentum was cut short by an Andrew Emanuilidis interception.
When the second half opened, Cedar Grove’s Tyler Rummel got another touchdown for the Panthers, but Verona’s line blocked the point-after kick. Nick Gonzalez on the Hillbilly line thwarted several Panther passes Friday evening, going airborne to swat them to the ground. Bryant and Slattery would score again, but so would Riggio–twice in fact–putting a Cedar Grove win definitively out of reach.
Verona travels to Glen Ridge on Saturday, November 2 for a rare afternoon game this season. And you might as well go ahead and block November 8, 15 and 22 on your calendar: Those are likely to be the dates of the NJSIAA playoffs. More details on opponents and times when we get them.
Photos copyright Bob Thomas and Joanna Breitenbach. Used by permission.