Nutley HS football team battles hard during the season

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NUTLEY, NJ – The Nutley High School varsity football team didn’t have the kind of season it had hoped to have, but overall the Raiders gave a good effort.

The Raiders, under fifth-year head coach Tom Basile, qualified for the playoffs for the third straight season and finished with a 3-7 record. NHS was the No. 8 seed, losing to top-seeded West Essex in the first round of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association North Jersey Section 2, Group 3 playoffs to end the season. It was the second straight season the Raiders lost to West Essex in the Section 2, Group 3 playoffs first round.

NHS also started and ended this season against West Essex. In the season opener, NHS lost to West Essex.

The Raiders’ three wins were against Pascack Valley, 31-14, at the Park Oval in Week 3; Chatham, 17-14, at the Oval in Week 7; and Barringer, 57-38, in Newark in Week 9.

The Raiders had a special senior group, with 16 seniors on the roster. They were receiver/defensive back R.J. Ferrarelli, quarterback/defensive back Steven Clausen, running back/defensive back Matt Roser, RB/DB Anthony Gizzo, WR/DB Ulisses Garcia, RB /linebacker Sammy Coppola, tight end/LB Justin Bivona, offensive lineman/defensive lineman/kicker Hunter Lechthaler, RB Frank Galasso, WR/DB Julius Pietri, OL/DL lineman Elijah Butts, OL/LB Joe Damico, OL/DL Mark Charles, OL/DL Enrique Torres, OL/DL Nick Lovato, and halfback/DL Rudy Meglio.

The Raiders had several underclassmen who were major contributors, led by sophomore starting quarterback Josh O’Neill, junior WR/DB Nick Mainiero, junior WR/DB Nick Saporito,  junior QB/DB Frank DeMaio, junior RB/LB Sam Abreu, and junior WR/DB Wayne Wittmann.

Other juniors on the roster were QB/DB John McAloon, WR/DB Dev Gosai, HB/LB Ryan Loch, HB/DL Ryan O’Mara, OL/DL Dan Rodeheaver, OL/LB Justin Luna, OL/DL Mike Paolello, OL/DL Joe D’Alessio, OL/DL Luis Abreu, OL/DL Anthony Alberti, OL/DL Magnus Valle, and OL/DL Christian Briganti.

The Raiders also had several sophomores who have a bright future.

2016 NHS statistics

OFFENSE

Rushing

Matt Roser: 67 attempts, 366 yards, 4 touchdowns. Sam Abreu: 38 attempts, 168 yards, 1 TD. Frank DeMaio: 22 attempts, 94 yards, 1 TD. Josh O’Neill: 81 attempts, 264 yards, 5 TDs. Sammy Coppola: 14 attempts, 68 yards. Nick Mainiero: 121 attempts, 656 yards, 6 TDs, one 92-yard kickoff return for a TD, one 72-yard punt return for a TD. Steve Clausen: 1 attempt, 2 yards. RJ Ferrarelli: 5 attempts, 30 yards. Hunter Lechthaler: 2 attempts, 64 yards, 1 TD. Frank Galasso: 4 attempts, 61 yards, 1 TD. Anthony Gizzo: 6 attempts, 31 yards. Jon Luberto, sophomore: 8 attempts, 26 yards.

Passing

O’Neill: 74 completions, 161 attempts, 45.96 percent completion rate, 973 yards, 4 TDs, 9 interceptions. DeMaio: 6 completions, 20 attempts, 30 percent completion rate, 119 yards. Mainiero: 2 completions, 4 attempts, 50 percent completion rate, 60 yards, 1 TD. John McAloon: 1 completion, 2 attempts, 50 percent completion rate, 25 yards.

Receiving: Ferrarelli: 22 receptions, 460 yards, 1 TD. Coppola: 2 receptions, 28 yards. Wittmann: 4 receptions, 49 yards. DeMaio: 15 receptions, 204 yards. Roser: 5 receptions, 100 yards, 1 TD. Mainiero: 20 receptions, 119 yards, 1 fumble. Nick Saporito: 6 receptions, 175 yards, 2 TDs. Lechthaler: 2 receptions, 12 yards. Luberto: 4 receptions, 61 yards, 1 TD. Clausen: 1 reception, 4 yards.

Kicking/punting

Lechthaler: 5 field goals, 24-for-24 point-after kicks. Tied 2 school records, most field goals in a career with 11 and last year most field goals in a season with six. Punts: 26 for 41.6 yards average, 38.6 yards net.  

DEFENSE

Coppola, LB: 105 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery, 1 hurry.

Ryan O’Mara, DE: 30 tackles, 2 ½ sacks, 2 FR, 6 H, 1 FF, 4 TFL.

DeMaio: 15 ½ tackles, 2 interceptions, 2 TFL, 1 pass breakup.

Ferrarelli, S: 57 tackles, 2 PBU, 1 INT, 2 TFL.

Abreu, LB: 63 tackles, 7 ½ TFL, 1 FF, 2 sacks, 2 hurries.

Mainiero: 12 ½ tackles, 1 INT.

Justin Bivona, LB: 46 ½ tackles, 4 ½ TFL, 2 sacks, 5 hurries.

Luberto, LB: 72 tackles, 2 PBU, 1 FR, 2 ½ sacks, 6 TFL, 2 FF, 1 INT

Dom Rafaelli, soph.: 3 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 hurry, ½ sack.

Mark Charles, LB: 33 ½ tackles, 2 TFL, 1 hurry.

Wittmann: 24 tackles, 5 PBU, 1 TFL.

Nick Lovato: 12 ½ tackles, 1 FR, 3 hurries, 1 TFL.

Elijah Butts: 4 tackles.

Clausen: 9 tackles, 2 PBU.

Luis Abreu: 8 tackles, 2 PBU.

Vin Russo, soph.: 59 ½ tackles, 3 TFL, 3 PBU, 2 INTs.

Saporito: 7 ½ tackles. Joe Damico: 3 tackles, 1 TFL. Rafaelli: 4 tackles. Mike Paolello: 8 tackles, 2 ½ TFL, 1 ½ sacks, 2 hurries. Matt Durham, soph.: ½ tackle. Ryan Loch: 1 tackle.

Nutley (3-7)

Sept. 9, Loss, at West Essex, 27-7

Sept. 16, Loss, at Bloomfield, 39-17

Sept. 24, Won, Pascack Valley, 31-14

Sept. 30, Loss, at Irvington, 20-0

Oct. 8, Loss, Paramus, 45-23

Oct. 15, Loss, at Orange, 36-29 (OT)

Oct. 22, Won, Chatham, 17-14

Oct. 29, Loss, Parsippany Hills, 28-14

Nov. 4, Won, at Barringer, 57-20

Nov. 11, Loss, at West Essex, 40-0*

*North Jersey Section 2, Group 3 playoffs

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