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October 20, 2013The Game At A Glance: Mahwah scored on a late drive, held off Westwood's last drive, scored a controversial touchdown in the third quarter to change the complexion of the game and beat Westwood, 24-20. Westwood's passing combination of Craig Carmillani to Nolan Borgersen had another outstanding night.
First Half Highlights: The first quarter was scoreless, with Westwood having the ball for eight minutes.
Wesywood got on the board first when Carmillani sneaked in from a yard out, but the story of the drive was Carmillani connecting with Borgersen three times for 78 yards, the last pass being stopped on the one yard line. The extra point was missed and Mahwah went out in front on the following play when AJ Cosgrove fielded the ball on the nine yard line, went through the middle and outraced the Westwood defenders for a 91 yard score. Westwood went back in front on the following drive when Carmillani crashed in from the one again to make it 12-7, after the two point conversion failed. Carmillani connected with Borgersen twice on the drive for 41 yards.
Second Half Highlights: After exchanging punts to open the half, Mahwah had a second and 12 on its own 24 when Jason Stepp fired a long pass to the right sideline that Carmillani intercepted, was down, and placed the ball on the ground. Cosgrove picked it up and went 26 yards for the score, putting Mahwah up 14-12, and angering the Westwood coaches and fans.
Westwood's following drive was abruptly ended when James Ciliento sacked Carmillani and Matt Salvatore recovered on the Westwood 42. Momentum had changed in Mahwah's favor, as they picked up a couple of first downs on the drive, with running back Robert Askew being a top contributor. However, Westwood's defense held and Mahwah's Zack Freguletti kicked a 35 yard field goal to make it 17-12 with 39 seconds left in the quarter.
Westwood came back to go in front, when Carmillani found Borgersen for a 26 yard touchdown, right after they connected for 16 yards, and Westwood was up, 20-17, with just under nine minutes to go. The teams exchanged punts giving Mahwah the ball on its 25 with three and a half minutes to go. Stepp found Ciliento on the first play for 20 yards and two plays later found Erik Wong for 43 yards down to the nine yard line. Two plays later, Askew scored from six yards out on a toss sweep to the right for a 24-20 lead with 1:21 to go. Westwood threatened when Carmillani found Borgersen for 42 yards to the 27 yard line. A sack and an incompletion set up third and eighteen on the 25. On third down, Carmillani appeared to be sacked, but escaped and fired the ball into the end zone that was dropped by a Westwood receiver. The fourth down pass was intercepted by Jared Kaplan, his second of the game.
Play Of The Game: The controversial score when Cosgrove scooped up the ball on a play that was not blown dead. Cosgrove deserves credit for his heads up play in picking up the ball, but it was a blown call from the official that changed the complexion of the game.
Game Balls: Cosgrove deserves the game ball for his two touchdowns: the kick return and picking up the ball and running it in for the score. Wong had a key reception on the winning drive and was a force on defense all night long. Cilento had a key sack that forced a fumble and caught another big pass on the winning drive. Askew's bowling ball style was a factor in the Mahwah ground game and he had the game winning score. Kaplan had two big interceptions in the second half, including the one that sealed the game. Stepp made the key completions on the game winning drive.
In a losing cause, Carmillani was 20 of 38 for 345 yards and one touchdown, plus two touchdowns rushing. Borgersen caught nine passes for 214 yards and one touchdown.
Mahwah head coach Jeff Remo - "It was a great game. I'm very proud of my kids; we were down at halftime and came back and played an outstanding second half. There's some great senior leadership on this football team. Westwood controlled the ball and I give credit to my quarterback (Stepp), who struggled with some of his throws and when crunch time came, he got them the ball."
Mahwah wide receiver AJ Cosgrove - "On the kick return, I just picked it up and the middle was wide open. I just ran right down the middle, made a couple of people miss, and I was gone. On the other touchdown, I saw him catch it and went to tackle him, but I saw the ball come out, I looked at the ref. He didn't blow the whistle, so I just picked it up and ran. We just worked together very well, we never gave up, and we never let that get us down, and punched it in. We just weren't going to lose this game."
Mahwah linebacker/wingback Erik Wong - "We knew they were going to throw the ball a lot, so we needed to put pressure on the quarterback and we got that done. On the winning drive, they didn't cover the curl and I caught it and just ran with the ball. I had a lot of confidence in our team. We play team ball at Mahwah, we were going to march it down and score and that's what we did."
Mahwah running back Robert Askew - "All my coaches, parents, and friends, tell me I'm like a little bowling ball. I like to be physical, I'm a one cut runner, and I try to get downfield as fast as possible. On the winning touchdown, it was a 68 toss, we had two people motioned to that side, and I felt like I had the entire team blocking for me and I just had to get into the end zone. We took our opportunity to stop them before our last drive and we did. Then we had a huge catch from James Ciliento and then Erik Wong, and I just finished it off."
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