HASBROUCK HEIGHTS – In the end it was a courageous performance by Anthony Seidel that made all the difference.
The Hasbrouck Heights senior running back/linebacker scored three touchdowns and had three interceptions to lift the Aviators past Glen Rock, 27-21, in a back-and-forth NJIC crossover football game Friday night at Depken Field.
Seidel scored his final touchdown on a 12-yard run with 4:52 left to break a 21-21 tie. Hasbrouck Heights once trailed, 14-0, and then led, 21-14, before Glen Rock tied it early in the fourth quarter.
Seidel ran for 148 yards on 24 carries and he ran 34 yards for a touchdown on one of his trio of interceptions.
Hasbrouck Heights took its first lead midway through the third quarter on a 66-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Darren Iurato.
Glen Rock answered on a 79-yard, 18-play touchdown march directed by junior quarterback Jeff Kopyta. Senior tailback Pat Sheahen scored the tying touchdown on a 6-yard run with 8:28 left in the fourth quarter, setting the stage for Seidel’s heroics.
Glen Rock quarterback Mike O’Neill went 8-of-12 for 156 yards passing in the first half before leaving late in the second quarter, with Kopyta taking over.
Senior tailback David Sasek rushed for 134 yards on 19 carries for Glen Rock.
The first time Glen Rock had the ball in the opening quarter the Panthers were faced with a second-and-28 at their own 17 after a couple of penalties. But O’Neill hit Ryan Pulford with a 15-yard pass and then found Sasek with a 14-yard toss for a first down at the 46.
Glen Rock was then able to complete the initial 65-yard, 12-play drive when Kopyta, operating as the quarterback, took a direct snap and went 1 yard for the score. Alex Evans’ extra-point made it, 7-0, just 3:34 into the game.