A senior tailback, Miele ran for 208 yards on 26 carries and scored three touchdowns, and senior quarterback Walls had 82 yards on 12 attempts and two touchdowns for resurgent Hawthorne. The Bears (1-1) opened the season last week with a heartbreaking 32-26 overtime loss to Palisades Park/Leonia.
In the third quarter, Hawthorne, sparked by a Miele 26-yard punt return, went 38 yards in six plays for the score that made it 20-0 with 6:38 left in the period.
Walls, who set up the touchdown with a 34-yard ramble, bulled over from two yards away on fourth-and-goal.
On the first play after the ensuing kickoff, Rutherford’s elusive senior tailback Pat Landrigan scampered 67 yards down the left side for the Bulldogs’ first touchdown. That made it 20-6 with 6:19 left in the third period.
Rutherford (1-1), which opened the season with an 18-6 victory over Waldwick/Midland Park last week, then allowed a 30-yard kickoff return by Miele that set up the Bears at their own 35-yard line. A 24-yard pass off a fake punt from senior Ricky Grofsick to senior split end Steve Sorrento set up the Bears with a first down at the Rutherford 37 off a fourth-and-six play. On the next play Miele went 37 yards up the middle to make it 26-6 with 3:25 left in the third quarter.
Hawthorne put the game away by going 27 yards in seven plays with Miele scoring from 10 yards away on the first play of the fourth quarter to make it 33-6.
A 35-yard completion from Rutherford quarterback Jim Hadrava to Landrigan set up Hadrava’s 15-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Chris Soto to cut the Bulldogs deficit to 32-12 with 5:22 left. Hadrava’s two-point conversion pass to Soto accounted for the final score.
The first time Hawthorne had the ball, the Bears went 38 yards in nine plays down to the Rutherford 19-yard line, after Rich Garzon returned the opening kickoff 26 yards to the Hawthorne 43. But on fourth-and-five, Walls was sacked for a 5-yard loss at the Rutherford 24.