AYF youth football for New Jersey serving , hunterdon county NJ, sussex county NJ, mercer county NJ, middlesex county NJ, warren county NJ; american youth football, partner with Jersey Shore AYF & Garden State AYF, formerly Jr Skyland Football Conference

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GNJAYF 2018 Week 2 Game of the Week

11U Raritan Gold Division match-up

Pope John Jr Lions (14) at Ridge Jr Devils (16)


Pope John Jr Lions 11U Gold team traveled to Lee Field in Basking Ridge to face off against divisional rivals Ridge Jr Devils 11U Gold.   After exchanging defensive stands on the first two possessions, the Pope John Jr. Lions struck first when quarterback #4 Tyler Houser hit his TE #30 Wesley Johnston with a beautiful 40-yard catch and run for the first score of the game.   Houser then pounded the point-after attempt in on the ground and the Jr. Lions took an early 7-0 lead.

As the game progressed into the second quarter, the Jr Devils of Ridge struggled to get a drive going until #32 Connor McLaughlin came off the bench as quarterback.   He culminated a successful drive with a snappy 17yd TD pass to his receiver #80 Dan Caesar on a perfect route and 6 points.  Caesar then drilled the ball through the uprights to give the Ridge 11U gold team an 8-7 lead going into the half.

The fans were entertained at halftime by wonderful performances by the Ridge and Pope john cheerleaders.

The Ridge team came out in the third quarter looking to flex some muscle and went to a pounding ground game.   They strung together multiple first downs behind by great blocking from their offensive line with led by limenan #67 Dan Clark and #61 Andrew Dachnowicz.  The end of a nearly quarter consuming drive was to spring #26 Joseph Dachnowicz into the end zone on an 8 yd run.   A second successful PAT kick conversion by Caesar and the Jr Devils took a 16-7 lead to start the 4th. 

Not to anyone surprise, the Pope John Jr Lions show they had no quit and they began to fire up their own ground game.  Midway through the 4th quarter, the Jr. Lions had driven down the field on a variety of run plays with all purpose back #25 Frankie DeNicola carrying the rock the final 7 yards into the endzone for the score.  Pope John converted the extra point on a power run from #1 Joey Rozynski, making the score 16-14 with 4 minutes left in the game.

On the next possession the Jr. Lions got a much-needed stop on a critical 4th down and retook possession of the ball in Jr Devil territory with less than 2 minutes remaining and no timeouts.  the Pope John  Jr Lions again had success moving the ball and with only seconds remaining QB Houser connected on a 20-yard quick slant to Rozynski who cut across the field on what looked like a game winning TD.  However, a penalty nullified the score the TD was brought back.    On the very next play , Ridge’s #20 Ben Kanne  intercepted a pass on their own 5yd line to take over possession and they were able to run out the clock for the victory.

It was a great Greater NJ AYF game and was well-played by both teams who look like they have the potential to meet again in the playoffs!


Box Score







Pope John












1Q  Pope John TD:  #4 Houser 40 Yd Pass to # Johnston (#4 Houser PAT Run )

2Q  Ridge TD: #32 McLaughlin 17 yd Pass to #80 Caesar (#? name PAT Kick)

3Q  Ridge TD:  #26 Dachnowicz   X yd Run (#? name PAT Kick)

4Q Pope John TD: #25 DeNicola 7 yd Run (#1 Rozynski Run)