By Dick Engelhardt
The Cutters of Fair Lawn High were the sixth victim of the undefeated Big North Conference (BNC) Liberty Division champion Bulldogs of Passaic County Technical Institute last Saturday at Sasso Field. The Bulldogs pulled away to a 60-0 victory.
Sometimes a game just gets away from you. It’s happened to others even worse! Old time Fair Lawn fans remember Fair Lawn’s years in the old Bergen-Passaic Interscholastic League (B-PIL). Frank Bennett’s Cutters took the title in 1945, their maiden season in the league, shared it with the Buccaneers of Bogota in 1946 and the Golden Bears of Lyndhurst in 1947 and won it outright again in 1953 and 1955. My twin brother, Bill, and I were “water boys” on that ’55 championship team. In 1949, those Golden Bears of Lyndhurst shutout the BEARS of Hawthorne 111-0. The great Weeb Ewbank said in 1963 when he took over the New York Jets, “I’ve seen sicker cows get well!” The Bears of Hawthorne have had many great seasons since 1949 and are strong today. Fair Lawn Coach Amir Saadah was their defensive coordinator before coming to Fair Lawn in 2011.
Our Cutters will come back too. Fair Lawn has a great coaching staff. Billy Lynn is offensive coordinator, Saadah is the defensive coordinator and Brian Gibbs (Son of Ramapo Coach Drew Gibbs), Dan Iozzia, Doug Lemberg and Brian Walis are assistants. Ed Guy and Andy Berninger coach the freshman team. It was nice to see Drew Gibbs at the game. His Green Raiders of Ramapo beat the Highlanders of West Milford 42-7 Friday night. The staff is working hard and the players are playing hard. They’ve lived up to my calling them our “Never Say Die Cutters!”
Frank Ortoll blocked an extra point kick, Carlos Carlone and Dan Morganstein made TD saving tackles. Newly eligible Anthony Nesmith ran the ball nicely and made a TD saving tackle. Jon Fochesato, Gal Harari, Thomas Koike, Justin Mata, Anthony Messina, Zach Parisi, Marc Terwilliger and others made nice plays. A number of other players got valuable playing time! Kevin Arias, Erion Conte, Rob Figueroa, Matt Spinatto and others made plays. The shutout was the 88th in FLHS history while our Cutters have shutout the opposition 82 times.
Fair Lawn’s Big North Conference (BNC) Liberty Division went 1-1 (.500) against outside opposition. The Ghosts of Paterson Eastside shutout the Indians of Passaic 22-0 while the Fighting Mustangs of Clifton High were shutout 29-0 by the Comets of Hackensack. The Division is 6-9 (.400) against outside opposition.
On Friday at 7 p.m. our Cutters travel to Ridgewood to take on the Maroons for the 42nd time. Ridgewood took the 1944-83 Thanksgiving rivalry 26-11-3 (.703) and won last year’s game 38-0. Fair Lawn is winless while the Maroons are undefeated. I know our Cutters will give it their best effort. Let’s all go to Ridgewood Friday night and support them. GO Cutters GO!!