NUTLEY – The Nutley High School varsity football team dropped a tough 28-14 decision to Parsippany Hills at Tangorra Field/Park Oval on Saturday, Oct. 29, in a North Jersey Super Football Conference-Patriot White Division game to move to a 2-6 overall record and 1-3 in the decision.
Nick Mainiero rushed for 74 yards on 16 carries and quarterback Josh O’Neill passed for 66 yards on six of 13 attempts and rushed for 43 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries for the Raiders.
Parsippany Hills (4-4 overall, 4-1 in division) was led by Wilson Done, who rushed for 201 yards and four touchdowns on 23 carries, and quarterback Nick Verducci, who ran for 119 yards on 19 carries and was 14-of-21 passing for 168 yards.
The teams could meet in the state North Jersey Section 2, Group 3 playoffs that begin Nov. 11-12. Parsippany Hills is in fourth place with 84 points and Nutley is in eighth place with 57 points in the power-points standings. The top eight teams in the power-points standings through eight games earn playoff bids.
After a scoreless first quarter, Done ran for a 32-yard touchdown run with 3:17 left in the first half. Cormac Bradley kicked the extra point as Parsippany Hills took a 7-0 lead into the half.
Parsippany Hills took the second half kickoff and nearly extended the lead. But on fourth-and-goal at the Nutley 2-yard run, Done was stopped at the 1, turning the ball over on downs.
The Raiders took over possession as they were pinned at their own 1-yard line. On the first play, O’Neill burst for a 61-yard run. Sam Abreu capped the 99-yard drive with a five-yard touchdown run with 5:16 left in the third quarter. Hunter Lechthaler kicked the point-after to tie it 7-7.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Raiders pulled off a successful on-side kick. But the Raiders went three-and-out on the drive.
Parsippany Hills took over following a punt and drove 55 yards,capped by Done’s 35-yard touchdown run and Bradley’s extra point with 1:03 left in the third quarter for a 14-7 lead.
In the fourth quarter, Parsippany Hills scored on its next possession as Done ran for a 13-yard touchdown to end an 81-yard drive. Bradley kicked the extra point to extend it to 21-7.
The Raiders, though, refused to go out quietly. On the ensuing possession, O’Neill completed a 77-yard drive with a 1-yard sneak into the end zone with 2:32 left in the game. Lechthaler kicked the extra point.
But on the ensuing possession, Done burst for a 45-yard touchdown from the second play of the 48-yard drive.
Frank DeMaio had three catches for 36 yards and R.J. Ferrarelli had one catch for 36 yards for the Raiders.
Defensively for NHS, Jon Luberto had 11 tackles and one interception; Justin Bivona and Sabino Coppola each had 11 tackles; Vincent Russo had 10 tackles; DeMaio had eight tackles; Abreu posted seven tackles; Mark Charles had six tackles and Ryan O’Mara recorded five tackles.
The Raiders will visit Barringer on Friday, Nov. 4, at Schools Stadium at 7 p.m.