By Andy Loigu
Christian Maciak broke loose for four rushing touchdowns on Friday night at Morrison Field, as Hackettstown treated Tiger Nation to its finest opening night football performance in recent memory, a 54-6 emulsification of visiting Dover. You can’t win them all if you don’t win the first one.
With crisp execution of coach Carl Robinson’s triple-option offense and much improved tackling highlighting the defensive performance, the Tigers looked like they are out to restore the roar in 2017. Maciak took the ball “to the house” on sojourns of 11, 12, 61, and 39 yards. Also scoring rushing touchdowns were Anthony Caputo (13 yards), Tim Ervey (five yards), TJ Sciaretta (63 yards), and Zach “Jazz” Jastrzebski, who was as hard to stop as he is to spell on a 52-yard ramble.
Ed O’Melia’s kicking foot got a workout, as he boomed six extra points through the high uprights. The Tigers visit Wallkill Valley in Sussex County on Saturday afternoon, hoping to keep the momentum of the sparkling start going.
BELVIDERE, HILL SCORE IN OPENERS
Belvidere and Warren Hills also won their opening Friday football forays. Big Red won in Union County at Jonathan Dayton by a 17-14 margin and Warren Hills won at home over Scotch Plains 35-15. For new Blue Streaks’ coach George DiGrande it was win number 137 in a career which includes head coaching stints at Belvidere, Westwood, and Summit. He’s looking to revive a program which was 3-7 in 2016 and it appears he has it pointed in the right direction.
Big Red and Big Blue both go on the road this Friday evening. Belvidere goes to Union County again to face David Brearly Regional in Kenilworth and Warren Hills visits the Lions’ Den (North Hunterdon) in Annandale.
STREAK HOCKEY DOESN’T MISS A BEAT
The supremely successful Warren Hills field hockey program may have a new head coach, but the Blue Streaks picked up where they left off on Saturday afternoon in Flemington with a 4-1 win over the Hunterdon Central Red Devils.
Under new coach Josie Potter the Blue Streaks displayed a corner defense which has the ability to clear and counter attack with “fast break” goals. Among the veteran performers are Tali Popinko, Alyssa Appleby, Rebecca Sigman, Mikayla Dugan and sophomore Samantha Dugan.
Meanwhile, Hackettstown has not played its field hockey opener as this is being written, but hopes are high for another solid season in Tigertown. Coach Stephen Speirs is back for his eighth season coming off a fine 14-4 record last year with a young team, which features two returning seniors and five promising juniors.
Midfielders Kayla Nicholls and Lexie Castellano are the seniors. The juniors are defensive backs Megan Baker and Sierra Castiglia, forwards Kayla Cichlar and Madison Hoskins and goalkeeper Bridget Kenny.
Ladies and gentlemen, Elvis has left the building.