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 9 Game of the Week: Raritan Championships

Raritan Gold Division 14U Championship Final

#2 Seed Hunterdon Central Falcons 14U Gold (19) at #1 Seed Hillsborough Jr Raiders 14U Gold (25)

It was an overcast and blustery day, which seemed fitting leading up to the 1U Gold finals which featured two teams who were the top of the division all year and had their sights on one another all season in anticipation of meeting up in this game.   The undefeated Boro Jr Raiders had beaten the Hunterdon Central in their regular season match-up for the Falcons only loss.  

This epic rematch started out as a defensive back and forth struggle between the two teams for much of the first quarter with each having some minor success moving the ball, but in the end turning the ball over on downs or needing to punt the ball away.

Late in the 1st quarter, a Jr Raiders interception by #32 Mike Caporaso gave Hillsborough momentum.    They started to put together a success drive with key runs by Caporaso and catches by #6 Austin Quandt and #13 Ryan Tasetano.     However, a stiffened defense by Hunterdon Central led to a 4th and 17.   As QB #7 Mark Miller dropped back to pass, he was flushed out of the pocket and scrabbled to his right,  just then Tasetano broke free and Miller hit him in stride and he turned up the sideline and  sprinted 33 yds for the game’s first  touchdown.  The ensuing point after attempt failed and the Hillsborough led 6-0. 

Hunterdon Central took the resulting kickoff and were effective moving the ball on some inside and outside runs and drove into Hillsborough territory, but the drive ended  when Caporaso met the Falcons RB in the hole, forcing a fumble that was recovered by DT #76 Brendon Lobelo giving Hillsborough the ball at midfield.    After a few successful runs , behind the blocking by linemen #95 Bryan Nasty Nastawa, #70 Carson DeRoner, #50 Ryan Leary, Lobelo, and #77 Iron Mike Guiliano,  QB Miller once again hit a big play downfield for a 62yd touchdown to Tasetano.   That pair connected again on the PAT and the Jr Raiders were up 13-0.   Tasetano ended the day with 4 catches for 127 yards and 2 TDS

On the subsequent drive, the Falcons went to the ground game, but after a few running attempts including a tackle behind the LOS by LB #33 Dominic Monsorno and a 3rd down sack on the Falcon QB  by DE #81 Shane Donoghue for a loss of 10 yds, Hunterdon Central was facing a 4th and 22.   Disastrously, the Falcons fumbled snap and the resulting scramble for the recovery ended up with setting-up Hillsborough on the Central 2 yard line and 1st and goal.  The Jr Raiders quickly capitalized on the opportunity when Monsorno ran the ball in for a touchdown.  The PAT failed but the TD had staked Hillsborough to a 19-0 lead.    

The boys from Hunterdon Central were down but they showed no signs of giving up.  They were finally able to close the deal on the successes they were having earlier in the game.  Right before the end of the half, QB #8 RJ Hart hit #80 Cole Gray on a 29 yd completion down the middle if the field on a 4th and 10 play and a critical 1st down.   This set up an 18 yd pass and run from Hart to #86 Matt Gemma.  Despite the failed PAT, the Falcons closed the Jr Raiders lead to 19-6.    On the next possession, Boro’s QB Miller was sacked by #70 Logan Arteaga, turning the ball over on downs and momentum was building for Hunterdon Central, but an interception by Caporaso stopped the drive.  Both teams headed into halftime knowing that this was anyone’s game to win.

At the start of the 2ndhalf, the defensive battle that started the game came to the forefront again with great tackling and defense by both teams.  Throughout the game, the Hillsborough defense was led by Monsorno with 11 tackles, Caporaso with 10, #77 Mike Guiliano with 8, #55 Jonathan Lobelo with 7, Donoghue, Lobelo, and Tasetano all with 5, and #28 Nick West with 4; and the Central defense was led by [players and # tackles?].    

Midway through the 3rd quarter, the Falcons took over a possession deep in their own territory and on the 1st play of the drive, a pass out to the flats was undercut by #32 Caporaso and he took the interception all the way to the house for touchdown.  The PAT wasn’t successful but now the core was 25-6.    Hillsborough would need all those points because the momentum was about to shift again.

The Falcons responded behind the tough running of #7 Michael Carbo and a long completion from Hart to #6 Noah Baird for 30 yds.  Carbo capped of the 10 play drive with a 3 yard TD run  behind the blocking of Gemma, Gray, #77 Bennett Cayero, #56 Zach Ghanim, #61 Bobby Pasquale, #76 Frank Tulli, Arteaga, and #15  Jimmy Mulvaney#48 Luke Breuer caught the extra point conversion from Hart, making the game 25-13.   The Raiders next drive ended with the Falcon’s Gemma & Arteaga tackling the Hillsborough punter on a botched snap, setting the Falcons up with great field position just over mid-field.  Again, Hart hit Gray on a 37 yd pass and moved the ball down the field leading to another Carbo touchdown run of 2 yards to make the game 25-19.   The Hunterdon Central’s onside kick attempt with only a minute to play was knocked about and almost successful be eventually ended up out of bounds and Hillsborough’s ball.  The Jr raiders took a knee ending the game and holding on to a close 25-19 victory. 


Congratulations to both teams on a great game.























1Q Boro TD:         #7 Miller 33 yd Pass to #13 Tasetano (PAT Failed)

2Q Boro TD:         #7 Miller 62 yd Pass to #13 Tasetano (#7 Miller PAT pass to #13 Tasetano)

2Q Boro TD:         #33 Monsorno 2 yd run (PAT Failed)

2Q Central TD       #8 Hart 20 yd Pass to #86 Gemma (PAT Failed)

3Q Boro TD          #32 Caporaso 28 yd interception return (PAT failed)

4Q Central TD       #7 Carbo 2 yd run (#8 Hart PAT pass to #48 Bauer)

4Q Central TD       #7 Carbo 2 yd run (PAT failed )