It was the perfect ending to a perfect season. The undefeated Verona High School football team took to the field at MetLife Stadium on Friday and ran away with the North 2 title, defeating Lyndhurst by a stunning 41-0.
Frank Riggio simply ran away with the game, scoring five of Verona’s six touchdowns, and enough rushing yardage to push his season total past 2,000. Shane Lawless, one of the 15 seniors on this year’s squad, contributed the other touchdown, as well as several key running and throwing plays, including a touchdown pass to Steven Petro that the officials called back after review.
The Hillbilly O-line (Nick Gonzalez, Isaac Skrivanic, Griffin Jordan, Ryan Stanisci and Nick Algieri) were flawless in their advances down the field, and Skrivanic also forced two fumbles. There were big interceptions by Jake Milmoe, Ryan Huze and Jake McConnachie. Verona’s defensive line stopped Lyndhurst’s rushing game cold and repeatedly took the shine off the Golden Bears. There were key tackles by Algieri, Gonzalez and Huze, as well as Zach Bucher, Richard DiGeronimo, Christian Dionisio, and Andrew Emanuilidis.
The game capped an outstanding VHS football career for seniors Nick Algieri, Richard DiGeronimo, Christian Dionisio, Andrew Emanuilidis, Nick Gonzalez, Griffin Jordan, Jacob Lapid, Shane Lawless, Steven Luehs, Jake Maisano, Jake McConnachie, Bryan McKeen, Isaac Skrivanic, Ryan Stanisci, and Patrick Yeates.
Lawless summed up what was on the mind of his fellow seniors and teammates. “The furthest back that I can remember, we’ve always wanted to do this, come to MetLife and play,” he said. “It’s just a dream come true.
Photos copyright Joanna Breitenbach, Fred Goode, and Kathleen Seubert. Used by permission.