By Dick Engelhardt
The Cutters of Fair Lawn High came out firing in a 19-0 loss to the Fighting Mustangs of Clifton High in Big North Conference (BNC) Liberty Division action on Hall of Fame Saturday last week.
Captains Thomas Koike, Richard Marchese, Mike Nieman and Nick Perez went out for the coin toss. Clifton won the toss but deferred the choice to the 2nd half. Jake Schwartz ran the kickoff back and Carlos Carlone picked up yardage and QB Dillon Rinaldo romped for a first down behind a block by center Justin Williams. Rinaldo threw to Jacob Baron for yardage but, alas, the drive, deep into Clifton territory, ended with an interception. At the half our heroes had held the Fighting Mustangs to a scoreless tie. A Fair Lawn field goal try just missed.
In the 2nd half the Fighting Mustangs scored and led 7-0. Ari Moslavi got off a fabulous punt that rolled dead at the 5 and the Fighting Mustangs raced 95 yards for a TD to lead 13-0. Their late score closed it out. Our Cutters made some nice plays with Rinaldo passing to Ryan Milnes and David Rodriguez and Carlone and Deshawn Roberts running the ball. Koike made a great interception at our 10 and nice “D” plays were made by Baron, Matt Katz, Justin Mata, Anthony Messina, Milnes, Dan Morganstein, Frank Ortoll, Zach Parisi, Matt Phillips, Schwartz, Williams and others. Clifton leads the rivalry 11-3-1 (786). The shutout was the 87th in FLHS history while our Cutters have shutout the opposition 82 times.
Excitement ruled the day as the new Field Turf made its debut and the 2013 inductees to the Fair Lawn High School Athletic Hall of Fame were introduced at halftime. One of the 1st inductees in 2006 was long time AD Virge Sasso after whom the field is named. The home stands, erected in 1959, were also refurbished.
Fair Lawn’s BNC Liberty Division went 1-1 (.500) against outside opposition. The defending champion Bulldogs of Passaic County Technical Institute walloped the Comets of Hackensack 34-6 while the Ghosts of Paterson Eastside were mauled 50-12 by the Maroons of Ridgewood. The Division is 3-4 (.429) against outside opposition.
The Knights of JFK of Paterson are 1-2 (.333) having eked out a 7-0 overtime win over the Indians of Passaic last week. On Saturday at 1:00 at Sasso Field our Cutters host the Knights. Paterson Central was the Turkey Day rival of Paterson Eastside and most Fair Lawn students attended Eastside before FLHS opened in 1943. During 1951-56 and 58 Fair Lawn went 5-2 (.714) over Central. In 1988 the successor Knights of Paterson Kennedy beat our Cutters 20-6 in the States while, in the 2003 State “Consolation Game,” our heroes prevailed 20-0. During 1951-56 independently, in the playoffs in 1988, in a Consolation game in 2003, in the North Jersey Tri-County Conference (NJTCC) in 2009 and in the BNC 2010-12, Fair Lawn has gone to 8-5 (.615) over Central/Kennedy.
I think our Cutters can notch their first victory. From here it looks like Fair Lawn 10 - Kennedy 7. GO GUTTERS GO!!!