West Essex 28 Morris Knolls 14
West Essex broke a 14-14 tie on the last play of the first half and scored a late insurance touchdown to beat Morris Knolls, 28-14. I was late because I was stuck in a traffic jam on Route 80 through Paterson that took me 40 minutes to go two miles and the first quarter had started when I arrived.
First Quarter: There were three minutes left in the quarter and the first play I saw was a touchdown by Joe Visaggio, a 5-yard run, to make it 7-0. I was told it was an 89-yard drive that consumed almost seven minutes, courtesy of Steve Tober from Sideline Chatter. The ensuing kickoff was returned by Patrick Blum for an 82-yard touchdown to tie the game.
Second Quarter: West Essex’s following drive resulted in a 17-yard touchdown run by Vito Finetti and the big play on the drive was a pass from Robert Lasher to Chris Corbo, who made a catch over his shoulders for 33 yards. Morris Knolls drove down the field and scored on a 6-yard run by Dom DelleMonache to knot the score at 14. Morris Knolls had the ball late in the half, but a fourth-and-5 pass fell incomplete, giving the ball to West Essex on the Knolls 45. On the last play of the half, Lasher found Corbo, who jumped between two defenders to get to the goal line for a 38-yard touchdown as time expired.
Third Quarter: The teams traded possessions and the quarter was scoreless.
Fourth Quarter: Midway through the quarter, Jack Massotto intercepted for West Essex at midfield and returned it to the Knolls 45, but the Knights were forced to punt when Cole Newton sacked Lasher. West Essex intercepted again, this time it was Dante Sellari, giving the Knights the ball on the Knolls 26 with three-and-a-half minutes left. After a 5-yard penalty, Visaggio went 31 yards for a touchdown.
Summary: It was a fast-moving game, clocking in at two hours with both teams keeping to the ground. West Essex was in control of much of the game, running the ball and passing to Corbo. The defense played well, limiting Morris Knolls to one touchdown, as their other one came from special teams. Whenever a play was needed, West Essex came up with one.