Hasbrouck Heights football at Cresskill on Thursday, September 5, 2019. (Center #5) QB Aidan Feulner and teammates celebrate defeating Hasbrouck Heights. (Photo: Michael Karas/NorthJersey.com)
Story by Darren Cooper / NorthJersey.com
CRESSKILL – It’s been a few years since they kissed the grass in Cresskill after such a delicious win.
Cougars quarterback Aidan Feulner ran for 144 yards and four scores, and Tim Coffey added 107 on the ground as the Cougars defeated No. 7 Hasbrouck Heights, 35-14, Thursday night in the season opener for both teams.
“It tasted great,” said Feulner about the grass-kiss tradition. “Nothing is sweeter than winning against Heights who has a great program. It was great to get them.”
The Cresskill victory stopped the Aviators 15-game winning streak and was also the first time the Cougars had beaten Hasbrouck Heights since 2006.
“I respect the heck out of what they have done, what their coaches do and how hard they prepare,” said Cresskill coach Kevin Quinn. “They are still the standard. This one game doesn’t change that. They are still the standard that we are chasing, but I think we moved a little closer to narrowing that gap right now.”
What It Means
The win gives Cresskill an early head start in the NJIC Meadowlands race. Remember, in the NJIC, its basically a six-game season as you play every team in your division, and then the winner advances to the conference semifinals.
Two years ago when Cresskill’s quarterback was injured against the Aviators, Feulner had to step in and play most of the Aviators 34-0 win.
Thursday night, he showed how much he’s grown. The left-hander ran hard between the tackles and completed eight passes for 108 yards. He showed speed and made good decisions.
“We’ve gotten to the point that we aren’t coaching effort,” said Quinn. “We are coaching execution and our guys are good. They worked their butts off this week.”
Second half domination
The Cougars defense clamped down on Hasbrouck Heights in the second half, only allowing them one first down until there were under three minutes left in the game. Offensively, Cresskill went exclusively to the running game, not attempting as pass in the fourth quarter.
Feulner scored on a 12-yard sweep with a nifty spin move to put Cresskill ahead 21-14, then Coffey capped a long drive with a two-yard burst with a minute left in the third quarter.
Cresskill clinched it with a seven minute drive that was 12 straight running plays and ended with a Feulner sneak to make it 35-14.
“Our offensive line did a heck of a job all off-season getting stronger and opening up lanes for Tim and me,” Feulner said. “Tim did a heck of a job running up and down the field.”
Feulner also had an interception in the fourth quarter…..Matteo Ochoa had a sack for Hasbrouck Heights…Rocco Minichello had a 17-yard touchdown run for the Aviators in the second quarter….Cresskill wide receiver Mark McDermott had two crucial catches for the Cougars, including an 11-yard gain on fourth and eight…Jerry Makris had a sack for Cresskill…Dan Ferrara had a sack and batted down a pass for the Cougars….The game was played after the Cresskill ceremony where the track ringing Arch Shaw Field was formally named for long-time track coach Rich Miller.
Cresskill is at Becton next Friday night, while Hasbrouck Heights travels to Saddle Brook next Saturday afternoon.
They Said It
“We are not ready to stop. We have a big game against Becton next week and we’re going to keep it rolling,” – Aidan Feulner.