PARSIPANNY, NJ – The Nutley High School varsity football team was riding high entering its contest at Parsippany Hills.
The Raiders, one of the hottest teams in the area, brought a four-game winning streak after an 0-3 start, facing an equally solid Par Hills squad.
But led by quarterback Nick Verducci, the Vikings proved too much for the Raiders as they pulled away in the second half for a 42-14 win on Saturday, Oct. 28, in a North Jersey Super Football Conference-Patriot White Division game.
The loss moved the Raiders to 4-4. But Nutley is still in good position to earn a playoff berth in the NJSIAA North Jersey Section 2, Group 3 playoffs where they could get their revenge against Parsippany Hills.
Verducci scored on three touchdown runs and and threw for another score, while running back Wilson Done had two touchdowns for Parsippany Hills, who improved to 7-1.
The Raiders struck quickly. On the third play of the game, quarterback Josh O’Neill threw a pass over the middle to Eli Acosta, who turned it a 65-yard touchdown, giving Nutley a 7-0 lead.
The Vikings answered on their second series of the game when Verducci burst for a 71-yard TD run later in the first quarter to tie it 7-7.
Done put the Vikings up 14-7 on a 56-yard TD run late in the first quarter.
The Raiders then drove 65 yards in 18 plays, capped by Nick Mainiero’s 1-yard TD run, to tie it 14-14 in the second quarter.
But Parsipanny Hills took control. Verducci connected with EJ Cumerford on a 48-yard TD run to make it 21-14 at the half.
The Vikings scored three TDs in the second half on Verducci’s TD runs of 10 yards and 2 yards in the third quarter, and Done’s 74-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter.
The Raiders are in fifth place in the North Jersey Section 2, Group 3 power-point standings with 92 points. Parsippany Hills, which lost in the North Jersey Section 2, Group 3 championship game last year to Morris Hills, is in second place in the power-point standings. The top eight teams by the eighth game earn playoff berths. The playoffs begin Nov. 10-11.
The Raiders will host Barringer on Nov. 4 at 1 p.m.