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A WATCHUNG COMMUNICATIONS, INC. PUBLICATION The Westfield Leader and THE TIMES of Scotch Plains - Fanwood Thursday, October 8, 1998 Page 13




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MultiTalented Devils Blaze Past Injured Raiders, 4220


Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times

All cylinders were firing for the Blue Devils as they impressed the crowd of over 2,000, which included scouts from several local high school, by defeating the Scotch PlainsFanwood High School football team, 4220, at Gary Kehler Stadium in Westfield on October 2. Although senior quarterback Brandon Doerr hit for three touchdown passes and kicked six extra points, the most impressive factor was the contribution of the entire Blue Devil team.

Despite seeing themselves behind 280 toward the end of the second quarter, the Raiders did not give up and had some shining moments of their own. Due to the absence of senior speedster Blair Woodward, who was injured on the second play of the game against Shabazz on September 26, junior halfback Nathan Jones had to take on added responsibility. He performed well, rushing for 126 yards and scoring on a 64yard blaze in the third quarter.

Westfield kicked off to open the game and Raider Matt McCarthy

scooped the ball at the 12 and returned it to the 30 where he was tackled by Sergio Villafane. Two plays later, a Raider pitchout was fumbled and recovered by Blue Devil Tom Lee on the 25.

On their very first offensive play, Blue Devil Todd Dowling whizzed off tackle and in for the touchdown with 11: 04 remaining in the first quarter. Doerr’s first extra point attempt was good and Westfield held an early 70 lead.

Jones received the kickoff at the fouryard line and returned it to the 39. A crushing tackle of Jones by Doerr, then a quarterback sack by Marcus Thornton for an eightyard loss put the Raiders on their own 30 with a thirdand19 situation. Quarterback Joe Franzone completed a pass to Jones for a 12yard gain and the Raiders were forced to punt. The punt into the wind rolled dead at the Devil 42.

Lee blasted left for six yards, then Doerr hit Chris Giacone as he came across field from left to the right at the Raider 40. From there Giacone broke into the open and breezed into the end zone to complete a 53yard pass play, making the score, 130, with 7: 26 left in the quarter. Doerr’s extra point was good.

“They (Raiders) didn’t have all their players healthy. We always look for a mismatch. That is part of our practice,” pointed out Blue Devil Head Coach Ed Tranchina.

Jones grabbed the kickoff at the five an returned it to the 22 where he was brought down by Josh Ray and Kevin McCormack. After runs by La’Marr McDaniel and Jones and a pass interference call on the Blue Devils, the Raiders had a firstandten at their own 45. The combination of Jones and McDaniel gave the Raiders another first down at the Westfield 45. Franzone completed a sevenyard pass to Matt McCarthy, then Jones ran for a first down at the 32. Unfortunately, for the Raiders, the fine march finally came to an end at the Blue Devil 26.


Flawless Raider Boys Dazzle Frustrated Cougars, 71 By DAVID B. CORBIN

Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times

Frustration overwhelmed the Cranford High School boys soccer squad when the secondranked Raiders nearly scored at will, winning 71, in Scotch Plains on September 28. The Raiders proved their offensive versatility as seven different Raiders successfully zapped the net.

Senior Tafarie Laing scored a goal and had two assists. Todd Moser, Mike Zotti, Eugene Ferrara, Andrew Babicz, Antonio Dopazo and Pete Kobliska all scored a goal.

Zotti scored the first goal of the game, then the Cougars came roaring

back with a score of their own. Just as the Cougars felt that they were on a par with the Raiders, Laing came back two minutes later and buried the ball into the net with a beautiful header. Before the end of the half, Babicz scored to put the Raiders in front, 31.

“I think Cranford came into the game with thoughts of challenging us for county supremacy, but we wanted to send them a message that it wasn’t time yet,” explained Raider Head Coach Tom Breznitsky. “We were prepared for them.”

As the frustration continued, the Cougars got more and more physical in their style of play. One hungry Cougar threw a footballlike block on Zotti and the Raiders were awarded a penalty kick. With 7: 27 off the clock, Moser took the penalty kick and whizzed it into the left side of the net as goalie Gennaro Somma stood confused and motionless. The Raiders had increased their lead to 41.

“The kid threw a block on Zotti. It was literally a football block,” exclaimed Breznitsky. “We refused to play their type of game.”

Despite their efforts, the Cougars just could not penetrate the Raiders’ territory. Ferrara looped a shot from about 27 yards out which sailed over the crossbar. Moments later, with 24: 15 left, Franzone crossed to Zotti who headed the ball just over the crossbar.

The blitz continued. Laing came through the middle on a breakaway and took a shot which was deflected to the left by Somma. With 22: 43 remaining, Ferrara took a corner kick from Fiorino and bopped it into the net to up the Raiders’ lead to 51.

For the next ten minutes, possession of the ball was shared, but Ferrara led another Raider charge with 10: 16 when he sizzled a shot which went slightly wide to the right. Laing, then blazed a shot just over the crossbar. At this moment, some of the Cougar defensemen resorted to additional extraphysical play to vent their frus


Devil Girls Sweep to Capture Union County Tennis Title By DAVID B. CORBIN

Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times

A question of Union County dominance was settled on October 5 when the Westfield High School girls tennis team swept all five top slots at the Union County Tennis Tournament at Tamaques Park in Westfield and repeated as champions. Twin seniors Jen and Becky Matro repeated as winners at first and second singles, respectively, to lead the 13thranked Blue Devils to a 100team points and to outdo 16thranked Summit which placed second with 68 points.

Jen Matro blew past her first two opponents, shutting out Stefanie

Clay of Cranford, 60, 60, in the first round and Mary Anderson, 60, 60, of Union in the quarterfinals. Matro met her first real competition in the semis where she faced talented Leigh Slonaker of Oak Knoll. Matro won the first set, 62, but Slonaker gave her a run in the second before falling 75.

“She is a hard hitter,” claimed Matro of Slonaker. “She came to the net a lot and she has a stronger forehand than a back hand.”

When asked about her upcoming match with secondseeded Carolyn

Pilkington of Scotch PlainsFanwood, Matro answered, “I’ll outwait her. She’s also patient and consistent. I’ll wait her out, then wait for my opportunity to strike.”

In the finals, Jen Matro did have another battle with Pilkington, but prevailed, 63, 46, 63. Matro won the first four games of the first set and had Pilkington a bit rattled before she settled down to tighten the match.

Pilkington defeated Jade Trinh of Linden, 62, 60, in the first round, then crushed Michelle Grunder of A. L. Johnson, 60, 62, in the quarterfinals. Although winning handily, Pilkington had a relatively long match with Trinh. Pilkington mixed her shots well and made several backspin shots.

“I know her style,” said Pilkington of Trinh. “She plays very well and likes to use a lot of topspin.”

In the semis, Pilkington appeared to breeze past sophomore Allison Johnson of Summit, 60, 61.

“I’ve been playing very well so far. I know all the girls that I have played and I think they all played well, but I believe Allison (Johnson) was the toughest,” claimed Pilkington of her opponents prior to her finals match.

Also at first singles, Dana Boyer of Union Catholic defeated Christina Minkovich of Elizabeth, 81, then lost to Grunder, 64, 61. Gina Turturiello of Governor Livingston defeated Michelle Brink of Roselle Park, 60, 61, then succumbed to Johnson, 61, 63.

Becky Matro, at second singles,




Versatile Devil Girls Disjoint Union Gymnasts, 102.683.05


Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times

Senior Julie Elmuccio soared with a stunning routine to first place on the uneven bars and freshman Jessica Caravello captured the all around to lead the versatile Blue Devils to a 102.683.05 victory over the Union High School girls gymnastics team in Westfield on October 1. Blue Devil Head Coach Ellen Kovac skillfully rotated 13 of her gymnasts to come up with the win.

Elmuccio chalked up the highest score of the afternoon when she totaled a 9.35 on the uneven bars. To go along with the smooth flow on her giant swings, she performed a beautiful straddle back transfer from the high bar to the low bar, then dismounted with a hightucked flyaway.

Elmuccio, who competed in only two events, also placed first in the vault with a mark of 8.9. She made nearly flawless use of her front handspring with a full twist.

Jessica Caravello totaled 35.25 in the all around. Caravello’s score of 8.65 earned her a first place on the balance beam. She began with a shoulder stand mount, then performed two back handsprings in a row. Next, she

executed highsplit leaps, double spins and a cartwheel, then dazzled the crowd with a “Scorpion” flexibility maneuver. Finally, she made her exit with a layout front flip.

“Some of the moves, I don’t have a name for and sometimes I may change my routine depending on how I feel at the time,” answered Caravello when asked about the design of her balance beam routine and if she changed it for more serious competition.

Jessica Caravello also placed second in the vault with an 8.8, third on the unevens with an 8.9 and had a marvelous performance on the floor exercises which earned her another second place with an 8.9.

Twin sister Lauren Caravello scored an 8.95 to place first in the floor exercises. Both sisters had superb back handsprings, back flips, leaps, spins and front aerials. Lauren also competed on the unevens and placed second with a score of 9.05.

Junior Tara Clarke seized a third in the vaulting with an 8.25 and had a nice routine on the floor, totaling a 7.9. Clarke performed many difficult back handsprings, back flips and spins, then had some aesthetically pleasing high leaps in her floor routine.

Senior Amy Seligman grabbed a third place on the beam with a 7.6,


With huge gains by McCormack, Turner and Giacone, the Blue Devils surged to the Raider 18. On the first play of the second quarter, the Raiders were penalized five yards for encroachment, then on the second play, they were penalized half the distance to the goal for a personal foul. From the four, Doerr rolled right and threw a lightning bolt to Perez for the touchdown. Doerr’s extra point was good and the Blue Devils increased their lead to 210 with 11: 35 left in the half.

“It was a bootleg play. The first thing is for Doerr to run the ball, but he saw Perez in the open and he passed to him,” said Tranchina.

The solid Blue Devil line held the Raiders on one series. Turner returned the punt to the Blue Devil 36. Runs by Turner and Lee moved the ball to the Raider 28 where Doerr rolled to his left and found Maurice Boatwright in the end zone with 9: 32 left in the half. Again, Doerr’s extra

point was good. Down 280, Jones received the kickoff at the 15 and returned it to the 38. After two fine runs by Jones, the Raiders advanced to the Devil 41. From there, Franzone hit McCarthy coming across to the right at the 35. McCarthy dashed to the 17 for a 24yard reception. McDaniel blasted to the nine. Next, Franzone pitched out to Jones, who sped to the one. Finally, with 6: 57 left in the half. McDaniel plunged over the goal for the touchdown. The extra point conversion failed.

Turner grabbed the kickoff on the 13 and returned it to the 39. Now, the ‘slick’ play of the game was about to occur. Doerr initiated a double inside reverse which ended up in the hands of Giacone. From there, Giacone slanted to the left sideline and flew into the end zone for a 61yard touchdown. Doerr hit the extra point the up the lead to 356 with 6: 39 left of the half.

“That’s either a big play or a five yard loss. That is one of our base plays designed to make about five or six yards, but Giacone made the play on his own. Maybe they (the Raiders) had a mistake in coverage,” explained Tranchina. “We worry about fumbles on plays like that. We did not use that play against Cranford.”

For the remainder of the half, fine defensive plays were turned in by both sides. Raider Scott Paterson recovered a fumble at the Devil 47, then Perez sacked Franzone for a 14yard loss.

Turner received the kickoff at the eight and returned it to the 41. A few plays later, the Blue Devils moved to the Raider 47. Now, the offensive block of the game was about to happen. Doerr handed off to Turner. Center Rob Albino leveled a Raider defender with an earthshattering block which registered 8.3 on the ‘wrecked him’ scale. Turner ran through the huge crevice and rumbled 47 yards for the touchdown. The

David B. Corbin for The Westfield Leader and The Times FIRST SINGLES CHAMPION… Blue Devil Jen Matro returns a shot from Raider Carolyn Pilkington during the finals of the Union County Tennis Tournament.

David B. Corbin for The Westfield Leader and The Times SIZING UP THE SITUATION… Raider quarterback Joe Franzone checks out the offensive and defensive setups prior to taking the snap.

David B. Corbin for The Westfield Leader and The Times USING THE STRAIGHTARM… Blue Devil Chris Giacone, No. 3, prepares to give Raider Nathan Jones, No. 22, a straightarm.

David B. Corbin for The Westfield Leader and The Times BLUE DEVILS AND RAIDERS CROWD… Over 2,00 fans came to Gary Kehler Stadium in Westfield on October 2 to observe the annual clash between the Blue Devils and the Raiders.

David B. Corbin for The Westfield Leader and The Times OH YEA, OH YEA, SCORE, SCORE, SCORE!… Raider Eugene Ferrara, No. 11, took a corner kick from Jeff Fiorino and thumped it into the net.

David B. Corbin for The Leader and The Times Blue Devil Jessica Caravella

David B. Corbin for The Leader and The Times LOOKING TO PASS… Blue Devil quarterback Brandon Doerr rolls left and looks for a receiver. Doerr was quite successful in his quest.
Copyright 1999 - The Westfield Leader and The Times of Scotch Plains-Fanwood