The Hopatcong Chiefs football team ended their regular season Saturday with a win over the Wallkill Valley Rangers. But the Chiefs are not finished yet. They finished eighth overall in the North 1 Group 1 playoff seedings and will travel to first seed Hasbrouck Heights Friday night. The Chiefs also became the 8th team in school history to win 6 or more games.
The Chiefs had a dominating win over Wallkill Valley, a win which they ran for 400 yards and put up 36 points. The offensive load was spread equally between the Chiefs backfield. Senior running back Johann Lara rushed for 131 yards and a touchdown, followed by other senior running back Tommy Rieg running for 100 yards on the day and a touchdown. Junior running back Shea Bongiovanni also had 100 yards with a touchdown. Senior quarterback Ryan Clarke also helped the Chiefs by lunging forward three yards for a touchdown. The Chiefs’ final score was scored by senior running back Victor Cotto on a 5 yard run for his first career touchdown.
The defense was flying around having fun making tackles. The Chiefs let up an early touchdown but responded by shutting the Rangers down. The Chiefs had 5 sacks against Wallkill tying their season high. Senior linebacker Willie Russell recorded his 100th tackle of the season.
Hopatcong has earned a spot in the tough North 1 group 1 playoff bracket. The Hasbrouck Heights Aviators, who are 9-0, come into this contest as the number one seed. Hopatcong and Hasbrouck Heights have never played before; this will be the first meeting between the two teams. The Aviators have a big high power offence and fast defense. They are located approximately 45 minutes away, close to New York City in Bergen County.
The Chiefs are excited about the challenge of playing the number one seed. What’s better than having the chance to knock off the number one seed? The Chiefs plan on having a balance attack on offence and a fast aggressive attack on defense. With a good week of practice, the Chiefs plan on going into the game confident.
This is the seniors’ third consecutive season going into the playoffs; they plan on making some noise to finish the season— all to their mantra: “We are Hopatcong, We are Family, We are #ChiefNation.”