HALEDON — The Hawthorne High School football team prepped for a battle for the North Jersey Interscholastic Conference (NJIC) Colonial division title with a 41-6 victory over rival Manchester on Saturday in Haledon.

Manchester quarterback Benzen Fernandez gains some yards in Hawthorne's 41-6 win.

The Bears scored on their first five drives of the game to put away the Falcons, a team still trying to find themselves after the return of head coach Rande Roca.

Hawthorne (5-1, 4-0 in the division) travels to Elmwood Park (5-1, 3-1 in the division) on Saturday in what conceivably will determine the NJIC Colonial title. The Crusaders are a game behind the Bears who are undefeated in the division. The lone Hawthorne loss was to Palisades Park in the opening week in a NJIC crossover game.

With a Bears victory against the Crusaders, it would give Hawthorne the outright NJIC Colonial division title. If the Bears lose, the title could be shared with both Hawthorne and Elmwood Park having one game remaining in the division.

Hawthorne senior running back Dwayne Miele is excited to take on Elmwood Park.

“I know they pass the ball a lot and they are a very good team,” said Miele, who combines with Bears quarterback Tommy Walls for the most potent running game in the division.

In the victory over Manchester (0-6), Miele scampered for 150 yards, most coming in the first half and three touchdowns, all in the first half to propel the Bears.

The Falcons have some moments that Roca can build on in the future including a 40-yard touchdown run from sophomore running back Asante Dyer. But other than that it was all Hawthorne.

On defense Hawthorne linebacker Walls was all over the place in styming the Manchester offense that is still trying to find a quarterback as Roca tried several against the Bears.

In the battle for the NJIC Colonial division, it will be the Bears running game against the Crusaders passing game from sophomore quarterback Michael Dare to his top two targets in wide receivers Nick Smith and Randy Santos.

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