EAST RUTHERFORD – Palisades Park/Leonia wanted to make sure that the game would not go into an extra period to be decided. The Tigers got their wish by scoring 27 second-half points, 20 in the fourth quarter, to defeat Becton (2-3), 27-0, in an NJIC Meadowlands Division game at Riggin Memorial Field Friday night.
Senior tailback Eric Johnson rushed for 102 yards on 19 carries, 78 of them on 15 attempts in the final 24 minutes, and scored a touchdown, and Robert Then had 88 yards on 12 carries and two touchdowns for Palisades Park/Leonia.
The Tigers raised their record to 3-2 with both losses coming in overtime, 18-15 to Waldwick/Midland Park, and 21-14 to Saddle Brook. One of Pal Park/Leonia’s wins also came in an extra session, a 32-26 victory over Hawthorne in the opener.
Sophomore Adeyemi DaSilva, who moved from wide receiver to quarterback in the second half, completed 8-of-13 passes for 92 yards and scored on a 3-yard touchdown run.
An interception by Jahmir Whitaker on Becton’s next possession led to a 30-yard touchdown run by Then on the first play of the fourth quarter that made it 14-0.
After DaSilva’s touchdown run with 6:47 left made it 20-0, Then scored on a 40-yard touchdown run with 4:26 left to close the scoring.
Both defenses came up with some big plays during a scoreless first half. Becton got the ball first and went three-and-out, and then Palisades Park/Leonia, after recording a first down on an offside penalty, was also forced to punt.
A Scott Marafelias 5-yard pass and an offside infraction against the Tigers earned Becton its initial first down on its next possession. But the Wildcats then had to boot the ball away when sophomore linebacker DaSilva made a big stop for Palisades Park, causing a 2-yard loss on a running play.