Seton Hall Prep football team triumphs as Bill Fitzgerald earns his first head coaching victory

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WAYNE – On Friday night, Sept. 14, the Seton Hall Prep varsity football team traveled to Wayne to take on Passaic County Tech, looking for its first victory of the season and the first victory in the head coaching career of Bill Fitzgerald. They achieved their goal with a 42-20 victory to improve to 1-2 on the season.

Following a PCT punt after the first drive, Seton Hall took over on its 40-yard line. The Pirates drove 60 yards in six plays with quarterback Aidan Gilman rushing from the three-yard line when at the one-yard line he fumbled into the end zone, but wide receiver Tim Macko jumped on the ball for a Seton Hall touchdown. Zach Hoban added the first of his six extra points to make the score 7-0 with :17.5 left in the first quarter.

The Seton Hall defense, which played great all night, held Passaic Tech to a three-and-out. Dominic Busby broke through the line and blocked the Passaic Tech punt and Nick Eliades returned it two yards for a touchdown and a 14-0 lead.

Passaic Tech went three-and- out on the next possession.On fourth down, the low snap was fumbled by the PCT punter and recovered by Giye Jenkins on the PCT one-yard line. Gilman ran it in on the next play to make the score 21-0.

On the third play of the next PCT possession, linebacker Tyler Cook intercepted a pass and returned it 29 yards for a touchdown to make the score 28-0. PCT added a touchdown to make the halftime score 28-7.

The third quarter opened with Passaic Tech receiving the kick and going three-and-out again. On fourth down, another bad snap led to the PCT punter being tackled by Elie Mauice and Dominic Busby at the PCT two-yard line. On the first play, Luca D’Emilio bulled his way in for a touchdown for a 35-7 lead. Gilman added a one-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter to make the score 42-7. PCT added two touchdowns in the last two minutes of the game to produce the final score.

Following the game, after being doused with the ice bucket, Fitzgerald said, “My first victory feels great. I told the team, ‘you guys did it.’ We dominated the game at the line of scrimmage. I am happy for the team to see the look on their faces. They earned this victory during the week with a great week of practice. Having Gilman running the ball was the key to our victory early in the game. I can’t say enough about our special teams; they played great.”

Defensive coordinator Ed Stinson said, “This was the best game we played all season. We owed the offense and we paid it off tonight.” Defensive line coach Tony Woods, a 1983 Prep graduate who was a All-State and All-American at the University of Pittsburgh as well as a 10-year NFL veteran, added, “This was old time Seton Hall Prep defensive football, five turnovers and five sacks decided this game.”

Next game: The Pirates will host Paramus Catholic on Saturday, Sept. 22, at 2 p.m. Paramus Catholic (2-1) defeated Hackensack, 54-42, Sept. 14 for its second win in a row.

Photos by Rich Morris/courtesy of SHP