NUTLEY, NJ – The Nutley High School varsity football team’s winless start to the season is a bit misleading.
Of the three losses, two were in heartbreaking fashion. The latest was a tough 35-31 decision to Pascack Valley on Saturday, Sept. 30, in Hillsdale.
After senior running Nick Mainiero scored his third touchdown of the game on a 90-yard kickoff return to give the Raiders a 31-28 lead in the fourth quarter, Pascack Valley responded with a touchdown to win it.
Nutley trailed 14-3 after the first quarter, but rallied in the second quarter. Junior quarterback Josh O’Neill threw a 15-yard TD pass to senior tight end Wayne Wittmann and Mainiero scored on a 90-yard run for a 17-14 halftime lead. Sophomore Justin Lucia, who kicked a 22-yard field goal in the first quarter, kicked both extra points.
PV scored the only TD in the third quarter for a 21-17 lead. The Raiders answered on Mainiero’s 10-yard TD run in the fourth quarter to take a 24-21 lead. After PV scored a TD to take a 28-24 lead, Mainiero returned the ensuing kickoff for a TD.
In the season opener, the Raiders lost to West Essex, 27-22. West Essex won the game on a kickoff return for a TD as time expired. The following week, the Raiders lost at Bloomfield, 49-21.
The Raiders hope to reverse their fortunes. They have home games against Irvington on Sept. 30; Orange on Oct. 14 and Barringer on Nov. 4.
Sept. 9, Loss, West Essex, 27-22
Sept. 15, Loss, Bloomfield, 49-21
Sept. 23, Loss, at Pascack Valley, 35-31
Sept. 30, Irvington, 1 p.m.
Oct. 6, at Paramus, 7 p.m.
Oct. 14, Orange, 1 p.m.
Oct. 21, at Chatham, 1 p.m.
Oct. 28, at Parsippany Hills, 1 p.m.
Nov. 4, Barringer, 1 p.m.