Hillsborough Jr. Raiders recap for the week of 10/27

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Ridge JV White vs. Hillsborough JV White. (Courtesy photo)

Andrew Martins, Managing Editor
Last weekend, the Hillsborough Jr. Raiders played a number of football and field hockey games with teams around the region.
The following is a submitted collection of the weekend’s results.
Jr. Skylands Football Conference
RARITAN DIVISION
Hillsborough Varsity Gold (Burke) vs. Bridgewater Varsity Gold: Won 32-6
The Hillsborough Varsity Gold were back at home this Saturday as they wrapped up their regular season against the Bridgewater Panthers.
As the game began both teams failed to move the ball on their opening drives. After Bridgewater unsuccessfully attempted a fake punt deep in their own territory, the Raiders quickly capitalized as Mike Kondratiuk and Adam Movshin opened up a hole for a full back dive by Sal Volpe. Volpe’s touchdown provided the Raiders an 8-0 lead. Bridgewater failed to pick up a first down on their next possession and the quarter ended with Boro maintaining their 8-0 lead.
Andrew Santa Barbara started the second quarter strong gaining 10 yards on a sweep play that featured a pancake block by Ethan McLaughlin. On the next play, Santa Barbara kept it going by literally carrying a host of Bridgewater tacklers on his back and getting the Raiders across the 50 yard-line. Thomas Amankwaa got Boro into the red zone as he took the pitch, and led by a great block by Sal Volpe, made it down to the two-yard line. From there, Santa Barbara charged up the middle giving the Raiders the 16-0 lead. After another three-and-out followed by a punt, the Raiders took over with great field position. Quarterback Jay Mazuera wasted no time getting the Raiders back into the end zone as he called his own number and ran inside while TE Will Dixon sealed off the defensive end. The 38-yard run gave Boro a 24-0 lead after Mazuera completed his third extra point of the night. Things went from bad to worse for the Panthers when Ethan McLaughlin recovered a fumble inside the 10-yard line. The Raiders did not convert the first field goal attempt of the season and the half ended with the Raiders up 24-0.
The second half began with AJ Johnson returning the opening kick 65 yards and providing the Raiders with excellent field position. A series of strong runs by Tyler Michinard put the Raiders into field goal range but Mazuera’s 32-yard kick missed just right of the post. Linebacker Leo Schiro, who caused havoc all night, and the Raiders defense quickly forced another Panther punt. This time backup quarterback Ryan Vierbuchan and the Raiders offense would not be stopped. Vierbuchan gained 25 yards on two runs and then another 10 as he scrambled down to the three yard line. AJ Johnson capped off the drive with a touchdown run.
The Panthers looked to have something going on their kickoff return until Jason McLain came up with a great tackle. McLain was tough on defense and special teams throughout the night. The Panthers drove down the field as the clock was winding down. With just under a minute left Marc Gulla and the Raiders twice held up the Panthers at the goal line on unsuccessful quarterback sneaks. The third time was not a charm though as the Panthers found the end zone on the last play of the game with a touchdown pass. The game ended with the Raiders on top 32-6.
The Junior Raiders enjoy a well-earned bye week next week and then will head into the playoffs with a 7-1 record and the eyes set on another championship for the Junior Raiders.
Hillsborough Patriot JV Gold (Riccardi) vs. Bridgewater JV Gold: Won 25-0
DELAWARE DIVISION – Varsity
Hillsborough Varsity Red (Shelton) vs. Del Val Varsity Silver: Lost 32-21
Mike Miller was 10-18 passing for 193 yards and two touchdowns. Rushed 10 times for 38 yards and a touchdown. Threw for one X.P and kicked one for another. Charlie Volpe had eight receptions for 145 yards and two touchdowns and one X.P. Tanner Boczon also had 48 yards receiving. The Red Raiders offense had their way with Del-Val’s defensive big boys jumping out to a 21-8 lead late in the second quarter. But a special team’s breakdown on a kickoff just seconds before halftime gave Del-Val momentum going into the second half when a player ran 70 yards for a touchdown.
On defense, the Raiders were brilliant in the first half holding Del-Val’s potent offense to just eight points. Kevin Shelton and two interceptions in the first half. One set up a touchdown to Volpe. Anthony Stewart led all players with six tackles.
The Raiders played hard to the end but were eventually worn down by Del-Val’s size and came up on the short end of a 32-21 score.
The Red Raiders will now have to wait and see who they will be playing this coming week in the first round of the playoffs. They finished the regular season with a 4-3 record.
Hillsborough Varsity White (Nussbaum) vs. Ridge Varsity White: Won 28-14
On a warm Saturday afternoon, the Ridge White team visited the Triangle Football complex for the last regular season game of the year.
The Ridge White team came ready to play. They took the opening kickoff and marched down the field. With JETS coach Todd Bowles in attendance to watch his son, Troy Bowles scored on a 10-yard touchdown run to put Ridge up 6-0. The extra point failed, and the score remained 6-0.
The Varsity White team starting on offense and quickly picked up several first downs. Dominick Monsorno then took a handoff and rumbled 33 yards to the end zone to tie the score at 6-6. Nick West converted the extra point kick and the Varsity White team was up 8-6. On the next possession, the Ridge White quarterback was picked off by Shane Donoghue. On the last play of the first quarter, Dominick Monsorno scored his second touchdown of the day this time from 37 yards out. Nick West converted again on the extra point and the Varsity White was up 14-6. Ridge White started the second quarter with the ball and kept possession until they turned the ball over on downs with a minute to go in the half. A pass completion from Ryan Tasetano to Shane Donoghue got the ball close to midfield and with time running out Samir Guzman took a handoff and raced down the sideline for a 54-yard touchdown run. The extra point was no good and the half ended 20-6.
The Varsity White started with the ball in the third quarter and was unable to do anything and had to punt. Ridge took possession but could not get anything going offensively and had to punt. Varsity White tacked on another touchdown on the last play of the third quarter when Ryan Tasetano hooked up with Shane Donoghue for a 27-yard touchdown catch. Nick West converted his third extra point of the day and the score was 28-6. Ridge would not quit and put together a few first downs. Jack Miller then sacked the Ridge quarterback to temporarily slow Ridge down. However, on the next play the Ridge running back took the ball around the corner and scored a touchdown. Ridge converted the extra point and the score was 28-14. Ridge attempted an onside kick, but the Varsity White team recovered it. Ridge White appeared to force a punt but a late hit on the quarterback gave the Varsity White a first down and enabled them to run the clock out.
On the day where the JR Raiders recognized the outgoing eighth graders, the Varsity White was able to provide them with a victory. The Varsity White will now prepare for a playoff run as the number two seed in their division.
DELAWARE DIVISION – JV
Hillsborough Patriot JV Red (Minetti) vs. Del Val JV Silver: Lost 32-6
JV Red suffered a 32-6 loss to DelVal this past Saturday. Matthew Gaspar scored the team’s touchdown on a bootleg down the sideline. Alex Reiling showed some of the hardest running of the season continually pounding the ball up the middle.
Defensively Ryan Gear had a great game at safety breaking up the passing game. Defensive end Anuj Mathur contained the sweeps with a handful of tackles in the backfield.
The Raiders are ready and poised to make some noise in the playoffs as they head to Voorhees for a 5:30 game under the lights.
Hillsborough Patriot JV White (Drab) vs. Ridge JV White: Lost 12-6
On a crisp, autumn Saturday morning JV white came out to play against a tough Ridge team, but would lose the contest 12-6 in overtime.
For the second straight week, the junior Raiders showed a great ability to move the ball offensively driving methodically down the field and owning the clock in time of possession. The offense presented their jumbo running attack, which featured Xander Borowski and Garrett Myer barreling up the middle with success. But the team couldn’t finish the initial drives and it was a 0-0 stalemate until Garrett Meyer took an off tackle run to the left side for the touchdown. The team was able to march down inside the red zone where Myer would finish the run with the score. Quarterback Nate Drab attempted the extra point with the quarterback sneak off right tackle, ran over two defenders, but was tripped up short of the goal line. The offensive line drove hard and played well Led by Joey Battoglia, Matt Corson and Connor Lape, against a disciplined Ridge defense.
The defense played lights out football for JV white. The defensive line plugged up the middle with some tough tackles by Austin Gargiule, Colin Cortez and Joey Battoglia. Gavin Bailey and Xander Borowski contained the ends and also contributed to a number of tackles. The outside linebackers Ben Wolen and Nate Drab stuffed the off tackle runs and Drab would make two tackles for a loss. Corey Iannucci and Jason Williams played lock down corner as Ridge could not get to the edges. Iannucci and Williams had two solo tackles each and were also involved in several others. The defense shut down Ridge until 20 seconds left in the half and let up a 45-yard run up the middle for a touchdown. Ryan Harris took a reverse for the Raiders for a 51-yard run but fell short of the goal line as time expired, a 6-6 tie at the half.
In the second half, although moving the ball, neither offense could score. Ridge had an opportunity in the fourth quarter on an off tackle run but safety Aayan Bakru came up to make a touchdown saving solo tackle. That would keep the score at 6-6 and force overtime.
In overtime, the Junior Raiders failed to punch it in and we’re stopped on fourth down. But on the subsequent possession, Ridge was able to get into the end zone to win the game. It was a hard, but heartbreaking loss for JB White. They will look to rebound in the playoffs this week.
DELAWARE DIVISION – Pee Wee
Hillsborough Patriot Pee Wee Red (Goldberg) vs. Bridgewater Pee Wee White – Lost 12-0
Hillsborough Red played well Saturday and despite great effort by the entire team, came up short. The squad was able to keep it close throughout, but a couple big plays by the opposing team was too much. The offense was able to run the ball well, led by Kyle Simonitis, Kayden Shepler, Jayden Carter, Anthony Mayo and Owen Miller. The offensive line also did a good job protecting, with solid blocking by Matthew Siegelaub, Zachary Johnson, Will Herterich, Keanu Whittlesey and Jack Mclain. On defense the team responded with good tackling and great team effort. Matthew Siegelaub, Owen Miller, Connor Lamb, and Niko Gaeta led the defensive charge Saturday. Overall well-played game by Pee-Wee Red.
Hillsborough Patriot Pee Wee White (Amato) vs. Ridge Pee Wee Red – Lost 26-0
Pee Wee White put up a valiant effort against Ridge Pee Wee on this October afternoon. The offense was led by Andrew Schwarz 65 rushing yards, Nick Mc Cauley 45 rushing yards, Damian Amato 20 yards rushing/passing, Mason Westlake 10 yards receiving and Tommy Marcketta seven rushing yards. Defense was led by Mason Westlake and Andrew Schwarz four tackles, Danny Gaffney two tackles and one fumble recovery, Nick Britanak and Aiden Herrera two tackles each, Gavin Wacaster, Jeff Progin and Tommy Marcketta with one tackle each.
DELAWARE DIVISION – Flag
Hillsborough Flag Jets (Albert) vs. Jets
Hillsborough Flag Raiders (Ross) vs. Hillsborough Flag Steelers (Walton)
Raiders: The Raiders battled the Steelers once again on a nice and brisk fall morning. First half scoring was accomplished by Vincent Lavecchia on a long 38 yard run up the left side of the field to reach the end zone. Gavin Ross ran the ball in the second half for a touchdown and also converted the extra point on a run up the middle. Setting up the scoring were great runs by Collin Tucker with a 28-yard gain and Kevin Van Cleef with a 20 scamper. Anthony Shrewsbury, EJ Risher and Matthew Simonitis also contributed with hard fought yards behind great blocking by the entire team. The defensive effort was led by Dante Mayo with three flag pulls, Gavin Ross two flags, Vincent Lavecchia two flags and Matthew Simonitis one flag. Another fun and exciting game completed as we get ready for the final game of the season next Saturday.
Steelers: On this beautiful fall morning, the Steelers offense was firing on all cylinders, scoring four touchdowns. James Casey scoring two touchdowns with 15 yards rushing, Max Comunale scoring one touchdown with 50 yards rushing and Justin Amato scoring one touchdown with 30 yards rushing. Jayden Johnson converting the extra point. Jonah Bergman with 43 yards rushing, Matteo Cicciari and Brody Walton each with 30 yards rushing, Mason Jacquish with 25 yards rushing, Robbie Jugan with 12 yards rushing, Devin Cozine with eight yards rushing, Jack Barmore, Ethan Canterbury and Jayden Johnson each with three yards rushing.
The defense was equally up to the test allowing only two touchdowns for the Raiders. Leading the flag pulls was Robbie Jugan and Jayden Johnson with three pulls each, Justin Amato, Jayden Johnson and James Casey with two flag pulls each and Matteo Cicciari and Max Comunale with one flag each.
Their final game of the season is this Saturday against the Bears.
Jr. Raiders Cheer
On Sunday, October 29, the Hillsborough Jr. Raiders competition cheerleading squads – Pre-Comp, Youth, and Junior – traveled to Erial, New Jersey where they attended their first competition of the season. The three teams have worked extremely hard for the past three months to get their routines competition ready and their hard work paid off. The girls rocked the mat. Pre-comp received third place, the Junior team received second place, and the Youth team received first place and Grand Champs.
The Youth and Junior competition cheerleading squads will be at it again this Sunday as they head to Island Championships in Wildwood in hopes of receiving top places for a second week in a row.