The Game At A Glance: Brendan Devera threw five touchdown passes and Joe Mongelli rushed for rushed for 115 yards and two scores, while scoring a third on a pass reception, as Wayne Hills beat Irvington. 48-27 in a battle for the division title.
First Half: After a Wayne Hills, Irvington drove 80 yards on nine plays capping it off on a 2-yard score by Jyvon Brown on the keeper. The first two plays got the drive going: a 23-yard pass from Brown to Nelson Gedeon and a 37-yard run by Al-Nazir Blackman, setting the Blue Knights up on the Wayne Hills 20. Wayne Hills came right back when Evidence Njoku returned the kickoff 42 yards to the 40. After four runs by Lou Mongelli, the Patriots were on the board when Brendan Devera found Tyler Hayek on an inside slant for a 23-yard score to knot it at 7-7. Wayne Hills was back on their following drive, as Devera raced 74 yards to the 11-yard line, caught by Brown. Mongelli raced past the right pylon to put the Patriots up, 14-7.
The next Wayne Hills drive was 80 yards, with the key play a recovered fumble of a punt on Irvington’s 26-yard line. Devera found Jaaron Hayek on fourth down on a 26-yard score for a 20-7 lead. Irvington narrowed the score to 20-13 when Blackman scampered in from the 8 to make it 21-13. Key plays were an 18-yard screen pass to Blackman on the previous play and a Brown to Jasiah Provillion pass for 40 yards to the Wayne Hills 29. Wayne Hills came back in three plays, scoring on a beautiful over-the-shoulder catch by Njoku to make it 27-13.
Second Half: Hunter Hayek recovered a fumble on the Irvington 28 on the half’s opening kickoff to set the Patriots for another score, a screen to Mongelli for 12 yards. Mongelli scored later in the quarter from 8 yards out to make it 41-13.
Irvington scored early in the fourth when Brown found Provillion for a 65-yard score, as Provillion broke tackles along the way, making it 41-19. Wayne Hills came back down the field on all runs until Devera hit Hunter Hayek in the left corner of the end zone for a 22-yard score. Irvington closed it out when Brown found Provillion for a 2-yard score.
Play Of The Game: I give it to the 74-yard run by Devera; even though he did not score, it set up the go-ahead score and a lead Wayne Hills did not relinquish. It was also the game’s most exciting play.
Game Balls: Devera passed for 137 yards and five touchdowns, while rushing for 122 on nine carries. He also set the school record with 29 touchdown passes in a season. Mongelli had 115 yards rushing and two touchdowns, while catching one pass for 12 yards and a score on a night he was filling in for the injured Luca Grave. Njoku had a very good game, catching two passes for 47 yards and a score, plus returning two kickoffs for 110 yards. The three Hayek brothers each had one touchdown, senior twins Hunter and Tyler, plus sophomore Jaaron.
For Irvington, Blackman rushed for 160 yards and a score, Brown passed for 202 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for another, and Provillion caught 7 for 148 yards and two scores.
Wayne Hills head coach Wayne Demikoff - “We knew they were fast and we’ve played a fast team when we went down to Florida. They have all kinds of weapons; they’re big they’re fast. They have some good players.”
Wayne Hills QB/LB Brandon Devera - “It’s a great feeling to set a school touchdown pass record, especially with all the good quarterbacks we’ve had. I’m looking forward to the playoffs; we will have a big target on our backs, but I like that. On the 74-yard run, I tripped up at the end and I didn’t score, but a 74-yard run is still fun. I love playing defense - I probably like it more than playing offense. I committed to play linebacker at New Hampshire; I love hitting, being in the box, and I love being on both sides of the ball.” - interview courtesy of Brian Carr, North Jersey Sports
Wayne Hills RB Joe Mongelli - “I was freaking out, knowing I was going to start. Right now, I can’t remember. Irvington was hard and they hit hard. It’s awesome to win and I feel very relieved right now.”
Wayne Hills WR Evidence Njoku - “It was a big night for all of us. I have had to learn a new system and now I can just focus on getting better. On the kick returns, the blockers did a great job, making a hole and I did what I had to do. We had good blocking all night and it helped when I scored the touchdown.”
Wayne Hills WR/DB Tyler Hayek - “We just did what we did. Their speed was good, but nothing like Florida (Pahokee). We’re getting more confident every game and we’re getting better every game.”
Wayne Hills WR/DB Hunter Hayek - “We had intense practices all week; the coaches have been pushing us. They were undefeated and played some good teams. We were just going to come in and play tough.