The Hawthorne High School football team had several chances to tie the game or even to win in the final minutes of the battle for first in the North Jersey Interscholastic Conference Colonial division at Elmwood Park on Saturday.
In a penalty-filled game that even saw back-to-back too many men on the field penalties against Elmwood Park, Hawthorne could not get the ball in the end zone to have a shot at tying the game or winning it.
The Bears (5-2) need to defeat rival Glen Rock at home on Friday at 7 p.m. to at least secure a share of the Colonial tie.
For Passero the difference against Elmwood Park was the “mistakes” and the start of the second half.
“We just made too many mistakes,” said Passero, who added about the third quarter, “I didn’t like how we came out after halftime. We can’t let them go down the field like that.”
Behind Bears quarterback Tommy Walls’ one-yard run in the first quarter, Hawthorne led 7-6 at halftime.
But the Crusaders offense only needed five plays to score to start the second half, a one-yard run by Elmwood Park‘s Christian Mendoza. A two-point conversion put Hawthorne down 14-7 to start the second half.
Then the Crusaders took advantage of a miscue on a punt return to put the Bears down 21-7. With Hawthorne deep in its own territory, Bears punter Ricky Grofsick kicked the ball in the wind that only went three yards and Elmwood Park‘s Sean Violante picked up the ball and the Bears special teams seemed stunned. Violante went 16 yards for the touchdown putting Hawthorne down by 14 points.