The New Providence High School football team fell victim to the Hoboken Red Wings Friday night in the NJSIAA North 2 Group 1 semifinal game, losing 40-23 at JFK Stadium at Hoboken High School.
After falling behind 13-3 at the end of the first half, New Providence came out in the third quarter scoring on its first drive, cutting the deficit to four points.
Hoboken forced five New Providence turnovers, scoring 34 points off of them, which clearly was the difference in a game that was close heading into the halfway point.
“We had five turnovers, that’s all that needs to be said,” Pioneers head coach, Joe Carollo said. “When you play a team like this you have to play a near perfect game and we didn’t.”
After scoring at the eight-minute mark in the third quarter, the Pioneers forced Hoboken into a three-and-out, and regained possession of the ball.
Two plays later, Pioneers quarterback, Jack Harvey threw his first of two interceptions on the night, which eventually led to Hoboken points. The Red Wings scored three plays later, adding to the 13-9 lead.
“It wasn’t just the turnovers, we didn’t stop them the way we needed to,” Carollo said. “We didn’t take advantage of the momentum in the second half. That game doesn’t necessarily represent the (final) score. That thing is 13-9, with like four minutes or five minutes left in the third quarter and we had the ball.”
The third quarter ended, 20-9, with New Providence still in reach, however, Hoboken was finally able to shut the door in the fourth, scoring twenty points, doubling its score from the first three quarters.
Despite suffering the loss, Carollo says his team will be ready for its final game of the season.
“We have to be better than that, and we need to get our heads screwed on straight,” Carollo said. “We have to end the season the right way right now. Unfortunately, in the fourth quarter we had to do a lot of chasing, but we are proud of their effort. We think we fought hard all year, and I don’t think that was any different tonight.”
H – Bass 6-yard run (extra point good)
H – Roberts 16-yard run (two point conversion failed)
NP – Gelormini 38-yard field goal
NP – Ciarrocca 3-yard run (extra point failed)
H – Mercado 10-yard run (extra point good)
H – Bass 1-yard run (extra point no failed)
NP – Ciarrocca 5-yard run (extra point good)
H – Bass 35-yard interception return (extra point good)
H – Bass 10-yard run (extra point good)
NP – Kliesch 6-yard run (extra point good)
RUSHING: NP- Harvey 7-32, Nash 9-60, Kliesch 6-14, Jester 4-41
PASSING: PH- Harvey 2-6-2-53, Sherman 1-4-1-20
RECEIVING: NP- Ciarrocca 1-18, Doran 2-55