North Bergen jumped out to a 21-7 halftime lead and held off Hackensack to win, 28-19, in a steady, light rain.
Hackensack started with the ball and had a drive down the field that consumed half of the quarter, but David Pinedo intercepted for North Bergen on the on the 10-yard line to end the drive. After a first down, they struck quickly on a 68-yard pass from Thomas Liggio to an open Jaylon Melendez down the far-right sideline.
In the second quarter, as Hackensack went to punt, a low snap was fielded by the punter, and his knee hit inside the 1-yard line, giving North Bergen a gift touchdown by Michael Santini on the following play and a 14-0 lead. Hackensack came right down the field with Jayden Robertson going 57 yards to the five and followed it up with a Robertson touchdown. North Bergen just drove down the field to go ahead on a Christian Angulo run.
Hackensack scored touchdowns by Isaiah Spain and Robertson, but North Bergen also scored on a 39-yard run by Santini down the far-left sideline in between.
In the end, North Bergen is a better team than I thought and were ready to play this game. They run the Wing-T well, have good size and strength, an all-senior lineup, and can give the Montclair-West Orange winner all they can handle. Do not be surprised to see them advance after the next round.
Hackensack’s running back Tymere Robinson left the game after two plays with a leg injury, but that didn’t matter because Robertson stepped in and made big plays. Remember the name Jayden Robertson because he’s a sophomore and you will be hearing it the next two years.