NUTLEY, NJ – The Nutley High School varsity football team showed tremendous perseverance this season.
The Raiders refused to let their season slip away after an 0-3 start..
Nutley reeled off four straight wins, starting with a big upset victory over state-ranked Irvington, to move to 4-3. The win streak helped the Raiders clinch a berth in the NJSIAA North Jersey Section 2, Group 3 state playoffs.
But unfortunately, the Raiders’ bid for an upset was denied. Nutley, seeded sixth, lost at third-seeded Voorhees, 42-7, in the quarterfinal round Friday night, Nov. 10, in Glen Gardner to finish the season with a respectable 5-5 record.
With Nutley trailing 21-0 at the half, senior running back Nick Mainiero scored on a 14-yard TD run in the third quarter to cut it to 21-7. But Voorhees answered with three more TDs to seal the win.
Mainiero ended a great senior season, rushing for over 1,000 yards.
Nutley kicked off the season with a devastating loss to West Essex, 27-22, at the Park Oval in which West Essex won the game on a kickoff return as time expired.
West Essex, the No. 1 seed, advanced to the North Jersey Section 2, Group 3 playoff semifinals after beating No. 8 seed Ridgefield Park, 48-18, Nov. 10.
The Raiders got their first win of the season with a 34-12 home victory over Irvington, which was ranked No. 15 in the state. After beating Paramus on the road, the Raiders rallied from a 14-0 deficit to beat Orange, 21-14, in overtime at the Oval. Following a convincing 49-7 win at Chatham, the Raiders lost at Parsippany Hills, 42-14, to end the winning streak. Parsippany Hills, the No. 2 seed, also reached the Section 2, Group 3 playoffs with a 48-21 win over No. 7 seed Cranford.
The Raiders then overcome a 20-8 halftime deficit to beat Barringer, 29-20, at the Oval in the final regular-season game.
Sept. 9, Loss, West Essex, 27-22
Sept. 15, Loss, Bloomfield, 49-21
Sept. 23, Loss, at Pascack Valley, 35-31
Sept. 30, Won, Irvington, 34-12
Oct. 6, Won, at Paramus, 27-22
Oct. 14, Won, Orange, 21-14 (OT)
Oct. 21, Won, at Chatham, 49-7
Oct. 28, Loss, at Parsippany Hills, 42-14
Nov. 4, Won, Barringer, 29-20
Nov. 10, Loss, at Voorhees, 42-7*
*North Jersey Section 2, Group 3 playoffs