By Dick Engelhardt
In Big North Conference (BNC) crossover action last Friday night in Wanaque, the Lancers of Lakeland probably earned a spot in the North Jersey, Section 1, Group III playoffs with a 49-0 victory over the Cutters of Fair Lawn High. Fair Lawn Captains Thomas Koike, Richard Marchese, Mike Nieman and Nick Perez went out for the coin toss. The Lancers received and went ahead 7-0. Marc Terwilliger returned the kick off to the 30 but the drive stalled and Lakeland returned the punt for a TD and led 14-0. They led 42-0 at the half and closed out the scoring in the third quarter.
A tweak in the Fair Lawn offense had Nieman lugging the pigskin and Mike Laboy replacing him on the offensive line. Zach Parisi and Deshawn Roberts gained yardage too and QB Dillon Rinaldo ran for a first down and passed to David Rodriguez. On “D,” Frank Ortoll and Terwilliger made TD saving tackles. Jacob Baron, Thomas Koike, Nieman, Perez, Justin Williams and others made big plays. In the two-year-old rivalry the Lancers have outscored our Cutters 92-0. The shutout was the 90th in FLHS history while our Cutters have shutout the opposition 82 times.
Fair Lawn’s BNC Liberty Division was shutout against outside opposition. In addition to Fair Lawn’s loss, the Fighting Mustangs of Clifton High were smashed 48-0 by the Maroons of Ridgewood and the champion Bulldogs of Passaic County Technical Institute suffered their first loss 35-7 at the hands of the Patriots of Wayne Hills. The Ghosts of Paterson Eastside had a Bye. The Division is 7-12 (.368) against outside opposition. I took in the thrilling 24-17 Northern Highlands overtime win over Bergenfield Saturday and enjoyed reminiscing with Bergenfield announcer Howie Conklin. I’ve wanted to get to a Northern Highlands home game and visit my predecessor as Fair Lawn’s announcer. Joe Hausmann, for whom my twin brother, Bill, and I were “spotters” for many years but it hasn’t been possible.
On Saturday at 1 p.m. our Cutters host the Ghosts of Paterson Eastside at Sasso Field in the final regular season home game which will be senior recognition day. During 1947-54 and 1983 Fair Lawn went 5-4 (.556) over Eastside. This was sweetened by the fact that, until FLHS opened in 1943, most Fair Lawn students attended Eastside. A few students from the Columbia Heights section went to Hawthorne and the Radburn section students went to Ridgewood. Fair Lawn is 1-2 (.333) against the Ghosts in BNC Liberty Division action in 2010-12 and our Cutters and the Ghosts are knotted up at 6-6 (.500).
Fair Lawn comes into the game at 0-7 and has been outscored 291-52 for an average 42-7 loss. Eastside is 2-5 (.286) and has been outscored 220-110 for an average 31-16 loss. At the Passaic Tech at Kennedy game October 26 I enjoyed reminiscing with highly successful Ridgewood Coach Chuck Johnson and he said he believes Eastside is by far the best 2-5 team around. Our Cutters will be looking to get back into the lead in the series and avenge last year’s last second 29-27 loss. I know they’ll give it their all and I think they can pull it off. From here it looks like Fair Lawn 21 – Eastside 18. GO CUTTERS GO!!!