Old Tappan beat Wayne Hills, 17-7, with sophomore quarterback Charlie Amatrula making his debut, filling in for an injured Niko Orecchio.
First Quarter: The first ten minutes of the game featured two exchanges of punts between the teams and the only two first downs came from penalties, one for each team. At that point, Old Tappan drove 87 yards on eleven plays, scoring three minutes into the second quarter on 1-yard run by Will Rodriguez. The two big plays on the drive were a 23-yard run by Rodriguez and a 27-yard pass from Amatrula to Jake Piccinich – the only pass of the drive.
Second Quarter: Wayne Hills moved the ball on the ensuing drive, crossing midfield and getting to the 29. But a Kevin Weis sack brought the ball back to the 37 and a Piccinich interception gave Old Tappan the ball on the 26 with 4:44 left. The Golden Knights went fourteen plays, reaching the 7-yard line. Dan Hwang kicked a 24-yard field goal with 10 seconds left to give Old Tappan a 10-0 lead.
Third Quarter: The teams exchanged punts, giving Wayne Hills the ball on their 45. Michael Casasanta completed passes of 11 and 6 yards to Steve Masten and 16 yards to Joe Brunetti, advancing to the Old Tappan 14-yard line. The following play a Casasanta pass was tipped by Pat Passalacqua and the ball went high into the air and intercepted by Will Andresen on the 15.
Fourth Quarter: The Patriots had another possession and were intercepted again by Sebastian Santana, returning it 15 yards to the 15. After a 5-yard penalty, Andresen carried three times to the 5 before Rodriguez carried twice, the second one a 2-yard score with eight minutes left. A Wayne Hills punt gave Old Tappan the ball and went five minutes before punting. Wayne Hills moved down the field, scoring on a 10-yard pass from Casasanta to Christain Puntolillo with eleven seconds left.
Wayne Hills -0-0-0-7-7
Old Tappan – 0-10-0-7-20
OT – Rodriguez, 1-yard run
OT – Hwang, 24-yard field goal
OT – Rodriguez, 2-yard run
WH – Casasanta to Puntolillo, 10 yards (kick good)
Summary: Prior to the Wayne Hills scoring drive of 73 yards in the final four minutes, Old Tappan held them to 124 yards; only 50 in the first half. It was a team effort, led by Passalacqua and Andresen, among others. In addition, the Golden Knights only allowed eight first downs and intercepted three passes. On offense, Rodriguez rushed for 71 yards and Andresen for 62. Amatrula did a very good job of managing the game and filling in for the injured Orecchio. Piccinich caught two passes for 61 yards and had one interception. Passalcqua had the key play of the game, tipping a pass that Amatrula intercepted. Wayne Hills drove to the 14 and a touchdown would could have made things very close, but that play may have deflated the Patriots.
Old Tappan lineman Pat Passalacqua: “With last week’s loss, it was all about attitude this week. We lost a winnable game to a very good team and we worked to be physical this week and to finish. We stuck together and made plays when we needed them.”
Old Tappan WR/OLB Jake Piccinich: “We thought we could have won last week and left a lot on the field. We have a good week of practice. Wayne Hills is a good team and Charlie Amatrula stepped up in a big way. He ran hard for first downs and threw the ball well.”
Old Tappan QB Charlie Amatrula: “I knew I would split time on Monday and knew I was going to start on Tuesday. We had a good week of practice and I had to step up. I had a good rhythm and I knew I had to execute the game plan.”