Football Team Puts Up a Final Fight

Inside the 20-13 Loss to Wayne Hills


Photo Credit: Takashi Matsumoto

After a long and hard fight, the NVOT football team ended their season with a 20-13 loss against Wayne Hills last Friday.

In September, Wayne Hills handed NVOT their first loss of the season with a score of 35-16. The team rebounded from that loss and only went on to lose one other game. Although they did not have a perfect record, the team was able to carry itself to the playoffs. However, they were unable to come back and defeat Wayne Hills. The team that handed NVOT their first loss of the season also handed them their last.

The Golden Knights started their final playoff game strong as junior Jake Piccinich scored the first touchdown of the game on a 42-yard pass from senior quarterback Drew Dippolito. In the second quarter, senior Mike Spilotras scored the second touchdown of the game on a 13-yard pass from Dippolito, and NVOT led 13-0. From there, the game took a turn. Junior Patrick Passalacqua recounted, “Unfortunately we were not able to make enough big plays down the stretch of the game.” Due to a touchdown in the later part of the second quarter and another one in the third quarter, Wayne Hills caught up to NVOT, and eventually surpassed them with a final touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Regarding the team’s performance in the game, Piccinich explained, “We came out fast and quickly it was 13-0. Everyone played hard we just made some mistakes on both sides of the ball towards the end.”

Despite the overall loss in the final game, the team improved since their first game against Wayne Hills and are proud of how far they have come over the course of the season. Passalacqua stated, “Obviously we had improved a lot since our first matchup based on the score alone, but also the entire dynamic of our team shifted. We kind of all came together and worked as a unit.”

Piccinich attributes the team’s improvement between their first and last games against Wayne Hills to the fact that they “got some guys back from injuries,” including junior defensive back Niko Orecchio and junior linebacker Will Andresen. He also explained that a key component to their improvement was how “everyone got better every week, and [the team] started playing well late when it counted.”

As for this season as a whole Passalacqua said, “Although we definitely did not achieve our primary goals, and myself and the rest of the team is upset over that, I would still call this season a success given how much we improved as a team.”