New Milford began their second drive in good field position at the Lyndhurst 25, courtesy of a 5-yard punt, and took advantage with Brian Markey found a wide open Tyler Picinic in the flat for a 31-yard touchdown. The score was costly since Picinic injured his knee when he dove across the goal line and did not return.
The Knights had the ball again on the Lyndhurst 42 as a result of a 17-yard punt, but turned it over on downs.
New Milford looked as if they were going to have a big drive at times, but could not sustain anything. Lyndhurst could not move the ball and did not record a first down until the final minute of the half.
The tide turned in the third quarter when Piotr Partyla scored on a 33-yard run to make it 7-7 late in the third quarter. The Golden Bears were in position to win when they deflected a punt and recovered on the New Milford 27 with four minutes remaining. Three Partyla runs brought a first down on the 17, but their chance to win fell short when a 29-yard field goal attempt went a couple of feet to the left of the upright.
Lyndhurst had the ball first in overtime, but their fourth down pass was intercepted in the end zone by Thomas Silverio. New Milford’s drive ended with a field goal attempt fell far short of the goalpost.
New Milford began the second overtime with the ball and were faced with a fourth-and-eight from 23 when Jais Juarbe, filling in for the injured Mackey, found Tommy Ryan open over the middle on the 3-yard line, making a leaping catch. Two plays later, Bart Nativo scored from the one.
Lyndhurst started their possession with a hitch pass from Brian Podolski to Emmanuel LaLuz for 14 yards and a first down on the 11. But an 8-yard loss and an intentional grounding put them in a third-and-34 from the 35. A Podolski run of nine yards set up their last chance, but the pass fell incomplete to give New Milford the win.
New Milford gutted out their win with injuries to Picinic, Mackey, and Alex Molina. In addition, Nativo and wide receiver Branden Flecha were also playing hurt. But others stepped up, with Ryan coming off the bench to make the defining play of the game in the second overtime. Head coach Billy Wilde said it was a physical game and they just want to get healthy and move on with a bye in two weeks.
Lyndhurst had bright spots. Partyla is an outstanding high school football player and made plays on both sides of the ball. Another who shined was Jeff Grasso at linebacker. While the loss hurts, Lyndhurst showed they can compete.