THE GRIDIRON 13-2012
By Dick Engelhardt
In Consolation Game action November 17th at SASSO FIELD, the CUTTERS of Fair Lawn High edged the MUSTANGS of Montville in a 32-27 thriller! Captains George Alexandris, Kevin Osback, Franklyn Ramirez and Jeff Welsh began the contest going out for the coin toss. Fair Lawn’s first drive culminated in a neat 5 yard TD run by Osback behind Kris Burger’s blocking and our heroes led 6-0. Then Osback threw a picture pass to Alexandris for a 44 yard TD. With Welsh snapping and Pete Dankop holding, sure footed Ari Moslavi kicked the extra point and Fair Lawn fans were ecstatic with the 13-0 lead! Our CUTTERS led 13-7 at halftime.
In the 3rd quarter Osback raced 69 yards for a TD and our heroes led 19-7. After the MUSTANGS closed to 19-14 Osback threw to Alexandris for a 3 yard TD and the trio of Welsh, Danko and Moslavi made the extra point for a 26-14 Fair Lawn lead. The MUSTANGS roared right back to make it 26-20 and then, with 1:48 on the clock, went ahead 27-26. Shades of 2008 when the CUTTERS and MUSTANGS exchanged TDs and Montville pulled out a 28-27 win!
Our “never-say-die” CUTTERS were having none of that! Osback threw to Alexandris for a 1st down with 1:29 on the clock. Pulling out all the stops, our CUTTERS dialed up a beauty! Osback threw to Alexandris who threw it back and Osback had a 1st down at the 31. He then threw a bomb to Danko who got to the 3. With 13 seconds on the clock Osback rolled left and outraced everybody to the end zone and our CUTTERS had their season ending victory! Lots of heroics happened on “D” too. Ramirez made a hellacious stop on a kick off, Laine White broke up a pass and tackled a runner for a loss and Nick Tsinkelis had great coverage on a pass and teamed up with White on a stop on a punt. Big plays were made by Tyler Argot, Burger, Danko, John Pagios, Brendan Sibilio and Welsh. Osback picked off a pass ending the 1st half.
The win closed out Fair Lawn’s season at 2-8 (.200). Our CUTTERS are 8-5 (.615) in Consolation Games since the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) instituted them in 1998.
Fair Lawn’s Big North Conference (BNC) Liberty Division was knocked out of the playoffs as in North Jersey, Section 1, Group V, its champion Bulldogs of Passaic County Technical Institute saw the Maroons of Ridgewood came from behind to beat them 31-18. The Division went 1-2 (.333) in Consolation Games. While Fair Lawn won, the FIGHTING MUSTANGS of Clifton High were mauled 40-0 by the JAGUARS of East Orange Campus High and the GHOSTS of Paterson Eastside were ambushed 33-12 by the HIGHWAYMEN of Teaneck.
The BNC Liberty Division closed out its season on Thanksgiving Day going 1-1 (.500) against outside foes. While Eastside edged the KNIGHTS of JFK 31-27 in the 88th renewal of the annual classic at BAUERLE Field in Paterson and took a 41-40-7 (.506) lead in the series, I saw those FIGHTING MUSTANGS get scalped 29-0 by the INDIANS of Passaic at BOVERINI Stadium in the 82nd renewal of the rivalry which Clifton leads 43-36-3 (.544).
In Playoff and Consolation action and on Turkey Day, Fair Lawn’s BNC Liberty Division went 2-5 (.286) against outside foes. The league went 8-20 (.286) against outside opposition in 2012.
Next week we’ll look at Playoff action from a Fair Lawn point of view. Until then, GO CUTTERS GO!!!