Sports Chatter: Former H-Towner Competes in Paralympics, Blue Streaks Roundup

Andy Loigu, local sports extraordinaire, brings Inside Warren's readers the Sports Chatter.

By Andy Loigu

After falling behind early, the North Hunterdon varsity football team scored 28 unanswered points in the second period and went on to defeat the Blue Streaks 38-20 last Friday evening at Warren Hills.

Quarterback Matt Busher had a big day for the visiting Lions. He completed 12-of-19 passes for 156 yards and also scored a pair of rushing touchdowns, operating a fast-tempo hurry-up offense.

The Lions averaged 5.8 yards per running play, gaining 215 yards on the ground.

Meanwhile, Warren Hills was limited to 66 yards on 32 carries.

Taylor Hoover, a senior running back, finished a 10-play, 43-yard drive with a three-yard rushing touchdown to put the Blue Streaks in front at 6:52 of the first quarter. Junior quarterback Cooper Gabrich completed a two-point conversion pass to senior wideout Matt Duffner to extend the Warren Hills lead to 8-0.

Gabrich went 8-for-15 for 93 yards, including a nine-yard touchdown pass to Duffner. Hoover ran for two touchdowns.

For North Hunterdon, Mitch Finnegan rushed for 106 yards on 17 carries, including a 35-yard romp that put the Lions in front 14-8.

Warren Hills coach Larry Dubiel attributed the Blue Streaks’ difficulties to “our own inability to be consistent from drive to drive.” You may rest assured they will work on that as they prepare to travel to Union County for their next game, a 1 p.m. kickoff on Saturday at Summit.

Both North Hunterdon and Warren Hills now are 1-1 on the new season.

Tigers head for North Warren

The Hackettstown Tigers will take a 1-0 record to Blairstown on Friday evening, for a 7 p.m. kickoff against North Warren. No, Tom Brady will not play for the Patriots.

The Tigers got a bye-week because last Friday night’s game against Wallkill Valley was postponed due to a virus that had spread among several of the Rangers’ players.

Since the Tigers have no open weeks between now and Nov. 4 on the schedule, and hope to play in the section playoffs at the season’s conclusion, the game may not be made up until either Nov. 18 or the Thanksgiving weekend.

Field Hockey

Warren Hills 8 Watchung Hills 0

Dani Profita led the Blue Streaks to a win in field hockey with two goals and two assists last week. Also joining in were Tali Popinko (two goals and an assist) and four players who each scored a goal, Alyssa Appleby, Caroline Cotte, Samantha Dugan, and Rebecca Sigman.


Warren Hills 2 Delaware Valley 1

Alyssa Duart scored the game-winning goal in overtime for the Blue Streaks in a thrilling girls soccer game last week. Stephanie Veneziano scored the only regulation-time goal for Warren Hills.


In wrestling, Cody Harrison transferred from Warren Hills High School to Phillipsburg High School during the summer. Last season Harrison was 23-8 as a freshman and qualified to compete at the state championships in Atlantic City, after taking third place at 106 pounds in the Region 1 competition at Wallkill Valley in Sussex County.

Hackettstown Native Is Paralympian

Patty Solimene Collins, who attended Central School in Great Meadows and Hackettstown High School, and now lives in the Washington D.C. suburbs, finished 10th in the Triathlon (swim, bike, run) at the Paralympics in Brazil this month.

In statements to the media attributed to her after the event, she indicated that she swam faster than ever before in pool or open water, and she swam in rough ocean off the Brazilian coast. She said she performed the best race of her career and left it all on the course.

A recently retired US Army Colonel who served in the Balkans, Iraq, and Afghanistan, Collins won a Paratriathlon world championship in 2012 and a silver medal in 2013. Her left leg was amputated below the knee after she was struck by a vehicle, but was determined to maintain her active lifestyle.

The Hackettstown area is justifiably proud of its brave and inspiring hometown hero.

Ladies and gentlemen, Elvis has left the building.  

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