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Sparta Football Prepares for State Final, Big Stage of MetLife Stadium

Spartans take on River Dell for the 2013 NJSIAA North 1, Group 3 crown Saturday at 10 a.m.

File Photo
File Photo
The Sparta High School football team stands at the doorstep of history. 

On Saturday, the team goes for the prize it has eyed all year: a state title. The Spartans face the River Dell High School Golden Hawks of Oradel at MetLife Stadium for the championship of NJSIAA Section 1, Group 3. 

Likely the team's biggest booster is its head coach, Frank Marchiano. The coach told Patch that it's no accident that his boys are again in the sectional final.

"This team is special because of the hard work and dedication [the players] put in," Marchiano said. "We have been preparing for the playoff they same way we prepare for each game."

Asked for his opinion of the 2013 Spartans' defining moment so far, the coach had no problem offering an answer: "Winning our second round game against Ramapo," he recalled. "They beat us in the finals last year."

Sparta was determined to get revenge during a rematch between the two teams in the Nov. 22 semifinal. The local boys were led by running back Lucas Faria, who ran the ball 59 times for 378 yards, scored three touchdowns and became Sparta's all-time leading rusher with 2,116 yards in a single season, and the Spartans vanquished its foe, 46-14. 

"This team got to the playoffs by working hard and believing in themselves," said Coach Marchiano, adding that his players are excited about the prospect of playing at MetLife Stadium. He said, however, that they are focused on the task at hand: Winning at MetLife Stadium.

"River Dell is an excellent football team with a lot of weapons offensively and defensively," the coach continued, adding that teamwork will help keep the Sparta Spartans on top—just as it has all season long.

"I am most proud of the way this team came together as young men and worked towards a common goal," said Marchiano.

Sparta takes on River Dell for the 2013 NJSIAA North 1, Group 3 title at MetLife Stadium on Saturday at 10 a.m.
Frank forkman December 07, 2013 at 11:01 AM
Will anyone be there the give updates during the game ? That would be nice ...
Natalie Davis (Editor) December 07, 2013 at 02:33 PM
Our reporter was there and will have a story published soon. Way to go, Spartans!!!!

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