Highlanders’ football looking to finish season with win

West Milford. Following Friday’s slim victory, the Highlanders football team is hoping to end the season at 5-5.

06 Nov 2019 | 10:36

The West Milford High School football team edged out the Passaic Valley Hornets last Friday night by a final score of 7-6.

“We beat a very good Passaic Valley team Friday Night,” said Head Coach Steve Maslanek. “(I’m) very proud of how the boys persevered through adversity during the game. It was a great team win and an excellent way to celebrate Senior Night.”

Both teams were held scoreless through the first quarter of Friday’s game before the Hornets were able to get into the end zone in the second.

The team’s two-point conversion attempt failed, making the score 6-0 at the half.

Both Passaic Valley and West Milford’s defenses would stand strong once again in the third quarter, as neither team could get onto the scoreboard.

Running back Joe Palmentieri, however, was able to finally get the ball into the end zone for the Highlanders in the fourth.

With the successful extra point attempt West Milford took a 7-6 lead, which they held onto for the remainder of the game.

Palmentieri finished with 82 yards on 13 carries, while Dylan Connors added another 76 yards on the ground with his ten carries.

Defensively, junior Mark Keesser led the team with 10 tackles, while teammate Kyler Grahme wasn’t far behind with nine.

Unfortunately, last Friday’s victory wasn’t enough to get the Highlanders into the playoffs, but the team is looking to finish the season on a positive note.

“We are disappointed in not qualifying for the playoffs, but we want to accomplish a 5-5 season and finish on a positive note going into next year,” Maslanek said.

The head coach is happy, overall, with his team’s performance this season.

“If we can take care of business on Wednesday Night, (then) it would give us the best two years in the program since (the) 2008 and 2009 seasons," said Maslanek.

The Highlanders have a chance at achieving a 5-5 record in its final game on Wednesday, when the team is scheduled to travel to Warren Hills High school to take on the Blue Streaks.