Highlanders’ football team wins season opener

West Milford. The West Milford High School Football Team had to go into overtime to win its first game 20-14.

| 11 Sep 2019 | 02:47

    The West Milford High School 2019 football season got off to a good start last Friday when the Highlanders beat Indian Hills in Oakland by a final score of 20-14.

    ”We made a lot of mistakes Friday night,” said Head Coach Steve Maslanek. “But we were able to handle the adversity and made plays when we needed to.”

    West Milford stormed back for the win after the Braves scored the first two touchdowns of the game to take an early 14-0 lead.

    The Highlanders wouldn’t get their first points until the second quarter, when junior quarterback Ralph Utter hit receiver Christopher Coyle deep for a touchdown.

    It was the first of three touchdowns for the junior pass-catcher, who accounted for all of West Milford’s points in the game, and the score was 14-7 at the break.

    Coyle would recover a fumble and take it into the end zone in the second half to tie it up before he and Utter connected again in overtime for the win.

    Coyle finished with three catches for 107 yards to go along with his three touchdowns.

    Utter went 6-of-20 for 153 yards and two touchdowns along with three interceptions, while running back Joe Palmentieri rushed for 151 yards on 24 carries.

    There were plenty of turnovers to go around in the game, between both teams, but Coach Maslanek believes the team will only get better as the season progresses.

    “We need to limit mental mistakes going forward,” Maslanek said. “We will improve every week."

    The Highlanders will get the chance to start the season with two consecutive wins this Friday night, when the team is scheduled to play Vernon Township in the home opener.