Post 64 – HS Football – Preview: Old Tappan

August 27, 2018

2017 In Review:  The Knights were 12-0, winning the North Jersey Section 1 Group 4 championship, beating Mount Olive after beating Wayne Hills and Teaneck.  They scored 479 points for a 39.92 average, while allowing 114 for a 9.5 average, including two shutouts.  Wins included Wayne Hills, Ridgewood, Ramapo, and Northern Highlands.

Graduation Losses:  WR/DB Sal DeBenedetto – Gettysburg, QB Nick McNerney – Stevenson (Md.), OL/DL Mike Mancuso – Springfield (Mass.), OL/DL Chris Eichler – Springfield (Mass.), RB Marquez Antinori – will attend college at a later date

Offense:  Old Tappan runs a multiple spread and returns three starters and the new quarterback is senior Andrew Dippolito (5-11, 165).  Running back will be shared by senior Chris D’Amico (6-1, 210) and junior Will Andresen (5-11, 180), with D’Amico starting on defense last year.

Returning at wide receiver is senior John Lohrer (5-10, 170).  He is joined by juniors John Caracciolo (6-1, 175) and Jake Piccinich (6-2, 180).  Tight end has both Kevin Weis (6-1, 200) and junior Ben Piehler (6-0, 185).

The line returns two starters in junior left tackle Pat Passalacqua (6-2, 260) and senior right guard Jackson Downey (5-9, 200).  At left guard is senior John Riley (5-11, 180) and sophomore Jack Renaghan (6-1, 225) will play center.  At right tackle is junior Sebastian Santana (6-2, 220).

Defense:  The Knights employ a 3-3 stack, returning three starters.  The line will have Renaghan and sophomore Jake Vialonga (6-1, 250) playing.  Passalacqua and D’Amico are returning starters at the end, with D’Amico moving from linebacker.

The inside linebackers will have four players rotating in three positions: Downey, Andresen, Riley, and Weis.  The outside linebackers are senior Mike Spilotras (6-0, 200) and Piccinich.

The secondary returns Lohrer at free safety and the corners will be Caracciolo and junior Anthony Tizza (5-9, 150), with junior Nico Orecchio (5-9, 165) rotating.

Special Teams:  Santana returns at punter and the kicker is sophomore Dan Hwang.  The return men are Lohrer and Caracciolo.


Thursday, 8/30, at Northern Highlands, 6:15 PM
Friday, 9/7, Ridgewood at home, 7 PM
Friday, 9/14, at Wayne Hills, 7 PM
Friday, 9/21, Ramapo at home, 6 PM
Friday, 9/28, at Pascack Valley, 6 PM
10/5-6, Bye Week
Friday, 10/12, at Wayne Valley, 7 PM
Friday, 10/19, Teaneck at home, 6 PM
Saturday, 10/27, at Bergenfield, 1 PM

Recruits:  Lohrer and D’Amico are 1-AA candidates and the junior class has Passalacqua who is 1-AA/1-A, possibly Ivy League.

Concerns:  Youth and inexperience.

Coach’s Comments:  “We figuring out our way and learning on the fly with a short preseason.  We are fitting guys in the right spots and we’re a work in progress.” – head Coach Brian Dunn

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