At 3-0, Becton is off to its best start since 2009, and not even the loss of its starting quarterback has slowed down the Wildcats.
After losing Nick Barbo late in the season-opening win over Emerson, senior Joe Penna has slid right in and guided the Wildcats to consecutive wins over Secaucus and Hasbrouck Heights.
“Joe was a wide receiver last year for us,” coach Chuck Kalender said of Penna, who was 10-of-12 for 100 yards and carried 17 times for 107 yards and two touchdowns against the Aviators.
“He was an all-league receiver and now he’s completing 85 percent of his passes.”
While the offense has continued to thrive while working in three new starting sophomores on the offensive line, it’s been the defense that has Kalender smiling.
Though the Wildcats went 6-4 last season, they surrendered 30.3 points per game, including four losses that featured 40-plus points allowed.
After three weeks this season, Becton is allowing just 12 points per game and 13 overall in the last two weeks.
The first-team defense has allowed just 20 points in three games.
“Last year, I think we had about 12 sacks total,” Kalender said. “This year, we have 12 already. Our defense is playing top notch right now. That’s what’s really been carrying us so far.”
Kalender said senior Guisseppe Giraldo has been the standout of the unit, leading the team in tackles, sacks and tackles for loss.
Senior Roy Forys is coming off a huge defensive performance against Hasbrouck Heights, racking up eight tackles (five for loss), four sacks, one forced fumble and one pass defended.
“Everyone is feeling pretty good right now,” Kalender said. “We’re just trying to keep it one game at a time. We’re in a competitive league and we’ve got Queen of Peace next.
“Everything feels like it’s coming together now. It feels different than it has in the past.
“We feel we’re one of the better teams in North 1, Group 1 right now.”
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