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Tough Play Leads to Undefeated Starts, Recovery

Butler and West Morris stay unbeaten, while Randolph responds.

Just as everyone hoped, Week 2 of the NJAC football season delivered with tons of great matchups. For some teams, this weekend was a way to right the ship early in the season. For others, getting to 2-0 was attained, and done so in grand fashion.

Butler defense stays stingy

After a 7-3 record in 2010, Butler head coach Jim Matsakis came into this season wondering were his Bulldogs rebuilding, or just reloading?

“We’ve got a lot of maturity coming back, but I guess that’s the beauty of high school football,” he said during a preseason interview. “You never know what you have until the first ball is kicked and you see who has what.”

Thus far into 2011, Butler has a defense that has yet to surrender a point, and a rushing attack that’s totaled over 340 yards, early in 2011. With two convincing wins in a row, Matsakis may be a bit closer to finding that answer.

After , Butler came back looking even stronger in Week 2, as senior Mike Tenned’s four touchdowns led to a

Tenned–the Bulldogs' senior running back–rushed for 165 yards on 11 carries and scored three touchdowns on the ground. The Butler captain added a 60-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Chris Heredia, putting Butler up 21-0 heading into the half.

Heredia would connect for a second touchdown in the win–this one a 12-yard completion to Bobby Kruger late in the third quarter–and sophomore Travis Canty and junior Brian Bock each added scores on the ground, helping Butler to a 2-0 start.

Randolph responds after loss

After a (2-0) got Randolph’s North 1, Group IV title defense off to a rocky start, the Rams saw things get even more difficult after two key injuries early on Friday put Randolph in a deep hole.

Despite losing starting running back/linebacker A.J. Garcia to a “serious knee injury,” and junior running back/linebacker James Gangemi (back spasms), senior quarterback Dom Capalbo and junior running back/defensive back Aaron Harris stepped up, helping Randolph rebound to stop rival Roxbury 30-14, according to nj.com.

Capalbo picked up his yards in chunks on Friday, tallying 112 yards and two touchdowns on just four completions in the win. The senior signal caller and Harris would connect twice for 48 yards, including Capalbo’s first score, a 25-yard pass that opened second quarter, giving Randolph a 10-7 lead.

Harris wasn’t finished yet, though, as he reportedly returned a third quarter Roxbury punt 60 yards for a score, surging the Rams ahead 17-14.

Capalbo sealed the win late in the fourth quarter, connecting with receiver Brandon Ririe on a 41-yard TD pass, putting Randolph up 30-14.

West Morris stays unbeaten

Parsippany Hills and West Morris Central each headed into Friday’s game in Chester in search of a 2-0 start to the season. At the end of the night, WMC was the one walking away unblemished as

For West Morris, Friday’s win was its second in grind-it-out fashion this season, On the ground, the Wolfpack saw running backs Jon Ciccone and Stephan Quatorze each top the 100-yard mark, while junior quarterback Jon Gutowski finished the game 7 of 13 for 86 yards and the score.

Par Hills made things interesting, though, when head coach Dave Albano delved into the trick play section of his playbook, the result of which was a successful flea flicker connection from receiver Dan Hardwick to Mike Comerford, which brought the game to 21-14 with just over a minute remaining in the third quarter.

But West Morris proved too tough to stop, answering the trick play with a more conventional score of its own, that started and ended with tailback Joe DeBiasse. After returning the kickoff 61 yards, spotting the ball on the Vikings’ 15, Gutowski found DeBiasse for a 20-yard touchdown, setting the Wolfpack up for the 28-21 win. DeBiasse finished the game with six catches for 72 yards and the touchdown.

Par Hills’ quarterback Tyler Simms added 144 yards on 16 completions, one of which went for a score, in the loss.

Standout performances

, scoring four touchdowns and rushing for 140 yards in the Colonials' 52-14 dismantling of Mendham. After two weeks, Carter has rushed for 310 yards and scored seven touchdowns.

Justin Goodwin kept up on his pace from 2010 in Madison’s season opener on Saturday, , powering the Dodgers to a 60-21 win over Hackettstown.


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