This Is Rutherford
RJF&C Superbowl Champions
Submitted by Michael Paskas
The Rutherford Senior Bulldogs (12-13-year-olds) wanted to prove undoubtedly that they were the top team this year and that is exactly what they did. On Saturday, November 21st, they secured the Meadowlands Football League Super Bowl title with a 24-0 win over the Hasbrouck Heights Aviators. Nick Lora was a force to be reckoned with having scored the Bulldogs (7-1) four touchdowns. Lora’s scoring plays consisted of runs of 50, 30 twice, and 5 yards. Backs George Brewton and Andrew Tralongo did not score touchdowns this weekend, but they were by no means absent from the game. The pair was a considerable part of Rutherford's ruthless rushing attack. Andrew Leffler was pushed into the offensive starting line-up just before game time and did an outstanding job at tight end. The offensive line, Jimmy Queli, Lou Morella, Joe DeMayo, and Antonio DeCarlo deserve mounds of credit for executing the most critical responsibility on the field to a tee. They opened holes all day long for their running backs while giving their quarterback Chris Gioia plenty of time and protection on passing plays. Devin Burgos, Brewton, and Gioia led the game in tackles, which completely shut down Heights running game. With the work of Drew Carney, Marchello Fernandez, and the rest of Rutherford's secondary, the crew shut down Height's passing game. These boys have stuck together and played their game all year long, as a family. They proved at the end of the day why they were the ones with the MFL Super Bowl trophy in their hands.
The Rutherford Junior Bulldogs (10-11-year-olds) completed their undefeated season with a 28-18 win over previously unbeaten Hasbrouck Heights. The Bulldogs have scored on their opening drive all season and this Saturday was no different. Quarterback Miles Balchan (5-8 passing for 42 yards 2 TDs & 2 rushes for 7 yards) handed off to Will Holman on the fifth play from scrimmage and he then went 40 yards for the first score of the game. The Bulldogs (8-0) then blasted left behind lead blocker Emmett Carney with Holman (28 carries for 157 yards 2 TD) on the extra point from three yards out making the score 7-0. Rutherford’s very next possession saw RB Dmitri Paskas (34 carries for 149 yards 2 TD) plunge into the end zone from 2 yards out. Balchan then hit Paskas in the end zone on a wheel route, from 3 yards out for the extra point. The ensuing onside kick was recovered by Logan Bohn and the lil’ dogs went right back to work, relentlessly pounding the ball behind their dominating offensive line of Andrew Ochojski, Evan Diaz, Vin Urgola, Chase Martini, and John Gioia. The offense drove to the 5 before Balchan found Paskas in the end zone again for the third score. The extra point was Paskas off right tackle and behind FB Carney from 3 yards out, making the score 21-12 at halftime. Rutherford’s defense stymied Heights offense in the second half and DT Diaz caused a fumble which was recovered by Zach Snyder. Balchan found TE Quinn Weber with a 25-yard strike and the Dogs drove to the 7-yard line before throwing an errant interception. The fourth quarter saw Rutherford slow the pace down before Balchan found Holman in the end zone from eight yards out for the fourth score. The Bulldogs then ran the same play for the successful extra point, making the score 28-18. The game ended with Rutherford Juniors in possession of the ball and letting the clock run out. The RJF&C Bulldog program has now won four MFL Super Bowls in the last two years and six in the last four years.