Pop Warner Teams Look to Advance in Postseason

Pee Wees, Jr. Pee Wees set for conference championships on Sunday.

Submitted by Todd Kelly

Week 8

Gold Flag

The Watchung Hills Wolverines Gold Flag Football team completed their perfect season against the Packers of Maplewood/South Orange. 

The potent Wolverines offense dominated throughout the day.  In the first series, quarterback Matthew Dahl threw a perfect 20-yard over the shoulder pass down the right sideline to his favorite receiver, Dylan Kelly, who got the ball down to the 10 yard line.  On the next play, Joseph Vecchio took a handoff and went 10 yards for the touchdown.  The next series was capped off by a 25-yard touchdown run by Matthew Dahl. 

Scott Drews then got in on the scoring when he took a sweep 40 yards for the score behind huge blocks by Dylan Kelly, Dylan Simon, Jackson Scala and Christian Hagel.  Drews finished the day with 50 yards rushing.  In the second half, Matthew Dahl scored his second touchdown of the day on a 10-yard run.  That touchdown was set up by Dylan Simon’s 15-yard run. 

Late in the game, Jonathan Hold had a nice 25-yard run down the sideline getting the ball to the five.  On the next play, David Scali took a handoff and ran in for the score.  Dylan Kelly added 30 yards rushing to the offensive total.

The defense once again asserted itself holding the Packers to less than 50 yards in total offense and only allowing one score.  Scott Drews and Christian Hagel led the charge on defense each grabbing four flags.  Dylan Simon and Matthew Dahl finished with three flags each.  Dean Nader and Dylan Kelly grabbed two flags each while Joseph Vecchio and Jackson Scala pulled one.

Blue Flag 

The Wolverines Blue Flag team finished off a great season on Sunday against the Maplewood Packers.  Riley McCann added to his touchdown total with 2 touchdown on 2 carries for 60 yards, Nathan Downey had 3 carries for 45 yards and Nirio Garcia had 1 carry for 10 yards each adding a touchdown.  The rushing attack continued with Matt Novello, 6 carries for 45 yards and Tyler Shpunder, 6 carries for 35 yards. 

The defense was led by the trio of Quentin Tao, Martin Howell and Riley McCann each pulling 3 flags and Kenny McGoldrick grabbed two flags.

Junior Flag  

The Watchung Hills Junior Flag battled a tough Packers team.  On offense, Jack Clintock got the Wolverines on the board when he scampered 20 yards for a touchdown.  His run was set up with great blocks by Chase Miller, Kyle Checchio, Brayden Kelly and Jadon Prinzivalli. 

Kyle Checchio set up the second score of the game when he broke a 25-yard run getting the ball down to the three.  Charlie Betzner then got the ball into the end zone on a three yard run.  Jayden Fernandez added 30 yards rushing while Ryan Johnson rushed for 30 yards.  Chase Miller added 35 yards as well.

The defense was strong throughout the game led by Ryan Johnson who grabbed five flags.  David Dubas continued to be tough on defense grabbing three flags while Michael Ohara pulled two.  Brayden Kelly disrupted the backfield from his defensive end position and grabbed one flag on the day along with Daniel Scali, Jack Clintock and Jayden Fernandez.

Mighty Mites

What a year! The 2012 Watchung Hills Pop Warner Mitey Mite team has completed a perfect (8-0) football season. Sunday, October 21st marked the second game this season versus the tough Pop Warner squad representing Maplewood and South Orange. Watchung won the first game 27-13 back on September 23rd and won this week by a score of 20-6. The Wolverines were supposed to play Washington Rock this week, but a late scheduling change to match up the two top teams from the MVC sent Watchung traveling east down route 78.

The 2012 Mitey Mite team featured a roster of 31 total players. Each boy had the opportunity to represent the team as a captain once this year. For the final game it was Elhanan Wilson, Buddy Steen, Aqili Holmes and Angelo Martino who met with the officials and the captains from the other side for the opening coin toss. Maplewood won the toss and started with the ball. Neither team made much progress offensively and played to a scoreless first quarter. Watchung's Jack Valenti made two solo tackles in the backfield to push Maplewood backward and force a punt.

In the second quarter, the Watchung Hills Wolverines found the end zone as Tyler Piggot took a shotgun snap and rambled in for the score. Tyler Marion made a nice fake and ran in the quarterback keeper for the extra point and Watchung led 7-0. Maplewood answered with a touchdown of their own. But Watchung maintained the lead as they foiled the extra point attempt by the home squad. A key defensive series for Watchung concluded with a Maplewood fumble and two Wolverines emerged with the ball. Aqili Holmes and Vincent Lee shared the recovered fumble and put an end to Maplewood's chance to take the lead before halftime. Watchung led 7-6 at the break.

In the third quarter Watchung Hills took control as they regularly did throughout the season. During their 8 games, Watchung dominated the 3rd quarter outscoring their opponents by a combined 65-0 in that period alone. First it was Justin Ferreira who took a reverse handoff and raced for the end zone as several defenders chased the original ball carrier in the wrong direction. For the extra point, the Wolverines went to the air as Luke Marion caught Adam Cardoza's pass in the end zone to push the score to 14-6 in favor of the Wolverines. Having run to the outside repeatedly during the game, Maplewood began to leave the middle too open and Watchung made them pay.

The starting offensive line of LT, Josh Claxton; LG, Shane Kelly; C, Mac McAteer; RG Jack Valenti; and RT, Tyler Piggot blocked perfectly and Justin Drews ran the ball almost untouched right down the middle of the field for a 60-yard touchdown. The extra point failed, but Watchung extended to a 20-6 advantage.

The final period was scoreless like the first as both teams made attempts to score, but couldn't get it done.  Shane Kelly made a beautiful open field tackle on a quarterback sweep for a five yard loss late in the game. A number of first year players were in the mix this game. Lorenzo Percario was in on a tackle with several teammates while Dylan Braunstein rotated in with the starting, "Blue Offense," and successfully blocked the Maplewood corner back at the line of scrimmage. After shaking hands with the opponent, a brief celebration of the perfect season ensued, and the Watchung Hills Mitey Mites walked off the field with a 20-6 victory and an impressive 8-0 final record.

Next weekend concludes the Mitey Mite season. Older Pop Warner levels have playoffs extending into November. The Mitey Mites will play in the "Monster Mash" next Saturday at Bridgewater-Raritan HS. The Monster Mash is a fun, round-robin tournament in which teams play mini-games against three or four other towns. No real champion is crowned, but the event is a nice send off for the nine-year-old boys who are moving up to Junior Pee Wee next season.

Junior Pee Wee

The Watchung Hills Junior Pee Wee team advanced to the Mountain Valley Conference championship game yesterday with an exciting 6-0 victory over a very physical Flemington Falcons team.  Matty Colantuono scored in the 3rd quarter after the offense drove 50 yards down the field to set up what would be the ultimate three yard push into the end zone.  Andrew Reale, Conner Cook and Jack Taub combined for 150 yards on the ground.  Reale had a 30-yard touchdown called back in the 2nd quarter.  The offensive line led by Anthony Tomaro shoved the Falcons backwards the entire game.  George Rooks, Justin Uberoi, Charlie Everhardt, Adam Claxton and Pat Stefurack were very physical up front.

The defense pitched another shutout keeping Flemington in check all game.  Cook, Reale and Taub stopped a solid Falcons ground game with help from the very physical front of Rooks, Everhardt, Claxton, Matt Perrera and Colantuono.

The Junior Pee Wees will be playing Montgomery this Sunday for the conference championship. 

Pee Wee

The Watchung Hills Pop Warner Pee Wee football team crushed the Packers of South Orange/Maplewood by a score of 26-6 to advance to the conference championship game.  The Packers handed the Wolverines their only loss of the season in week 4.  The Wolverines got on the board first when quarterback, Anthony DeNave found Tommy Schelling for a 25-yard touchdown pass.  In the second quarter, Tommy Schelling took a handoff and went five yards for the score giving the Wolverines a 12-0 lead at the half.  Joe Rica intercepted a pass late in the second quarter preventing a Packers first down.

The second half went just like the first.  Tommy Schelling continued to have a field day after he intercepted a pass and returned it to the Packers five yard line.  He then took a handoff and plunged in for the score.  Chris Clintock added the 2-point PAT making it 20-0.  Later in the third quarter, Tommy Schelling scored his fourth touchdown of the day on a nice run. 

The defense was dominant throughout the game only allowing one score.  Rob Saum had a key quarterback sack.  Gavin DeFuria had an interception and TJ Pecoraro intercepted a Packers pass in the end zone preventing a touchdown. 

The Pee Wees move on to the conference championship game which will be held this Sunday, October 28th at Montgomery High School at 12 p.m.

Week 7

Gold Flag

The undefeated Watchung Hills Wolverines took on the Panthers of Bridgewater.  The Wolverines offense was led by quarterback Matthew Dahl who scored a touchdown on a 60-yard run behind bone crushing blocks by Dylan Kelly, Dylan Simon and Jackson Scala. 

Later in the game, Matthew Dahl hooked up with Dylan Simon for a 10-yard completion which set up Joseph Vecchio’s 10-yard touchdown run.  Dylan Simon reached the end zone when he sprinted 10 yards on an end around.  Dylan Kelly racked up 65 yards rushing on four carries while Dalton Rosenfarb added 20 yards rushing to the potent ground game. All 12 players carried the ball for a total of 250 yards rushing.

The defense was once again dominant holding the Panthers to under 60 yards in total offense and only allowing one score.  Matthew Dahl, Dylan Kelly and Joseph Vecchio led the charge on defense with each grabbing five flags.  Dylan Kelly recorded his fourth interception of the season that he returned 30 yards for the touchdown.  Brian Edelman added 3 flags on defense while Scott Drews and Dylan Simon grabbed two each.

Blue Flag

Watchung Hills Blue Flag had another successful day at Bridgewater.  The offense was led by Quentin Tao with his passing attack of 2 completions for 30 yards and 35 yards rushing on 4 carries with a touchdown.  Riley McCann led the team with 2 touchdowns and 80 yards on 5 carries and Brett Christopher 2 carries for 40 yards with a touchdown.

The defense was led by Riley McCann pulling 5 flags, Martin Howell grabbed four flags and intercepted a pass, Brett Christopher with 4 flags and Jaymin Bhat snagging 2 flags. 

Junior Flag Squad A

The Watchung Hills Junior Flag Squad A (6 year-olds) battled a tough Packers team.  On offense, Ryan Johnson was once again unstoppable as he racked up 65 yards rushing on the day.  Late in the game, Ryan Johnson broke free on a sweep and went 30 yards for the touchdown.  Chase Miller added 20 yards rushing on three carries.

The defense was strong throughout the game led by Jayden Fernandez who grabbed seven flags.  Chase Miller was tough at defensive end and ended the day with five flags.  Jack Clintock, David Dubas and Ryan Johnson each had four flags while Michael Ohara pulled three.

Junior Flag Squad B

The Watchung Hills Junior Flag Squad B (5 year-olds) played their best game of the season against the Packers of Bridgewater.  The offense was led by Daniel Scali who rushed for 50 yards on five carries.  Brayden Kelly got the Wolverines on the board when he broke free after faking out the defense and went 20 yards for the touchdown.  Byron McCann took a handoff and raced 40 yards for the touchdown behind the blocking of Kyle Checchio, Jack Martin and Lucas Garcia.  Daniel Scali capped off the scoring when he raced around the end and went 10 yards for the touchdown.  Kevin Butler set up that last score when he scampered 15 yards taking the ball down to the 10.

The defense was ferocious as they held the Packers to less than 40 yards in offense and didn’t allow a score.  Brayden Kelly had a huge day as he made himself a fixture in the Packers backfield from his defensive end position.  He finished with a record ten flags on the day.  When the Packers ran away from Kelly they could not escape cornerback Kyle Checchio who finished the day with seven flags.  Byron McCann was constantly around the ball carrier recording six flags.  Lucas Garcia got in on the defensive action grabbing a flag late in the game. 

Mighty Mites

The 2012 Watchung Hills Pop Warner Mitey Mite squad has put together a memorable season. With only one regular season game remaining, the Wolverines are now (7-0) after a 33-14 win over the Bridgewater Panthers on Sunday, October 14. Bridgewater put up a strong fight and led at the half by a point. This marked the first game all season that Watchung trailed at the half. But the Wolverines came roaring back in the second half to take control and win the game.

Jonathon deMontagnac got things started for the Mitey Mites with a first quarter touchdown run. The extra point was carried by Luke Marion and the Wolverines led 7-0 at the end of one quarter. Bridgewater came roaring back in the second quarter however. They scored back-to-back touchdowns, converted both point after attempts and took a quick 14-7 lead. Fortunately for Watchung Hills they were able to put up a score just before the half. On the final play of the half, Tyler Piggot took a shotgun snap and carried 52 yards for a touchdown. The extra point attempt no good and the halftime score was 14-13 in favor of Bridgewater.

After the break, Watchung took control. Two third quarter Watchung touchdowns were scored by Justin Ferreira and Luke Marion. One successful point after conversion was run in by Justin Drews and the Wolverines lead 26-14 at end of the period. A key defensive play was made by Ferreira as he crushed a Bridgewater runner. The big hit came at a big moment as Bridgewater was going for it on 4th down. Watchung took possession and kept the momentum on their side. Other key tackles throughout the game were made by Tyler Marion, Aqili Holmes, Jake Checchio, & Anthony Yannotta.

Watchung put the game out of reach as Mac McAteer scored the team's 5th touchdown of the day. McAteer also carried the successful point after attempt. He made a sharp move to find the end zone and boost the WH lead to 33-14, the final score. The Wolverines are scheduled to play next Sunday, October 21 at Washington Rock as they attempt to go (8-0) and finish the regular season perfect.

Junior Pee Wee

Watchung Hills Jr Pee Wees defeated their cross town rivals, the Bridgewater Panthers, 20-0.  The Wolverines ground and pound offense was too much to handle.  The offense was led by Connor Cook who had 8 carries for 60 yards and a touchdown, Andrew Reale with 7 carries for 80 yards and 2 touchdowns and Jack Taub who had 5 carries for 40 yards.  Michael Butrico added 25 yards rushing and John Annunziatta's key run set up one of Reale’s touchdowns.  Matty Colantuano led the charge at quarterback behind his center Anthony Tomaro who guided his line anchored by Charlie Everhardt, Justin Uberoi, Adam Claxton, George Rooks, John Bechtle, KC Boyle and Pat Stefurack.  Matthew Drews and Annunziatta also shared time at quarterback as well.

The defense put up another shutout only allowing 20 total yards on the ground.  Jack Taub’s early 1st quarter interception pretty much sealed the deal for the day.  Linebackers Connor Cook, Andrew Reale and Jack Taub again led the charge behind defensive lineman George Rooks, Isaiah Parker, Anthony Leone and Matty Colantuano.  The secondary kept things in check keeping the Bridgewater runners inside all day.  Joey DeNave, Mario Martino and Pat Stefurack were outstanding.

The Wolverines postseason begins this Sunday against the Flemington Falcons at home.

Pee Wee

The Watchung Hills Pop Warner Pee Wee football team had yet another impressive win on Sunday, beating the Bridgewater Panthers 20 - 8 to improve their record to 6-1.

The Wolverines struck quickly in the first quarter with a 30-yard touchdown run by Gavin DeFuria, which was set up by Chris Clintock's 35-yard catch and run, which kept the drive alive.  Clintock PAT conversion kick made the score 8-0.  The Wolverine's extended their lead early in the 2nd quarter, as DeFuria and Tommy Schelling ground out large chunks of yardage with Schelling finishing the drive with a touchdown.  The Wolverines continued to dominate in the third quarter, keeping Bridgewater scoreless.  They added to
their lead with an impressive 9:00 minute drive.  Clintock expanded the Wolverines lead with a 15-yard touchdown run, bringing the score to 20-0.
Anthony DeNave and Joe Rica were flawless at quarterback, and the Panthers had no answers.

The defense pressured Bridgewater the entire game, with Ryan Trimble, Joe Rica, Kevin Caracapa, and Mark Daas leading the way with multiple tackles and sacks.

The Watchung Hills Wolverines travel to Maplewood to begin their playoff run this coming Sunday.

Junior Midgets 

The Watchung Hills Jr. Midget’s continued their quest for a perfect season with a 36-6 triumph over Bridgewater.

Tom Christie recovered the opening kick and the Wolverines marched down the field capping the drive off with a hard 10 yard TD run by Eric Plesko.  Bridewater battled back on their next possession and converted on 4th and 15 with a pass play to keep their drive alive. They found the end zone but Matt Roth blocked the kick to keep the score tied at 6-6. The Wolverines marched down the field again and QB Tim Adams found Nick Ugarte in the end zone for an 11 yard TD.

Adams made the kick for 2 points and the Wolverines led 14-6 after the 1st quarter. The defense stuffed the Panthers behind solid play from Matt Cardoza and Jonathan Taub and Mike Ugarte scored on a 5 yard run after getting the ball back on downs. On the next possession, Adams connected with Nick Ugarte again for another score and the Wolverines led 30-6 at the half. Plesko sparked the Wolverines in the 3rd quarter with an interception and Mike Ugarte made a great TD catch thrown by Adams from 11 yards out to end the scoring.

The Wolverines enter the MVC playoffs with the top seed against Flemington this Sunday.

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