Football State Quarter Finals: HHS vs. Waldwick

Jesse Dorfman, Contributor

“At the half,” said Ricky Grofsick, “I just told Tommy [Walls: Bears quarterback] to start giving me the ball as much as possible, and we have the win.”  That is exactly what led the Bears varsity football team to success over the Waldwick Warriors (45 – 28) in the State Quarter Finals with three Ricky Grofsick touchdowns.

The air at HHS was filled with excitement on Friday night, November 16, 2012, when the battle by the brook was set to start. Hawthornehad won the toss and elected to receive.  Early in the first quarter, Dwayne Miele exploded with an almost untouched 50-yard rush to the five yard line.  Quickly after, quarterback Tommy Walls took the ball himself and ran for the first touchdown of the game. Grofsick’s extra point kick was good. Later in the first, Warrior Ryan Levendakes rushed the ball an unbelievable 78 yards for the touchdown.  Ron Kruis’ kick was good.  A possession later, Tommy Walls completed a 20-yard pass to superstar Dwayne Miele for the touchdown. Grofsick missed the kick attempt. The Warriors got the ball back, looking to tie it up by the end of the first but got stopped quickly with a terrific interception from quarterback, and then defensive back, Tommy Walls.  The end of the first quarter went to the Bears 13 to 7.

In the second quarter, the Warriors prevailed with two terrific touchdowns from quarterback Even Paglieri and wide receiver Shane Hurly.  The half ended with the Warriors dominant 21 to 13.  At the half, things quickly turned around for the Bears.

The third quarter opened quickly with an unbelievable 55-yard throw from Tommy Walls to Ricky Grofsick for an early touchdown.  The Bears attempted to tie the game with a two-point attempt, but did not succeed.  The Bears needed to keep the ball as much as possible, so recovered an onside kick after the Grofsick touchdown.  Right after, Tommy Walls again looked to Ricky Grofsick with a quick pass touchdown.  Again the Bears succeeded with a two-point conversion, but then recovered the onside kick.  Soon after, Ron Kruis of Waldwick intercepted an attempted pass from Tommy Walls.  When it looked like the Warriors were about to come back, Kevin Damstra intercepted Waldwick quarterback Evan Paglieri, to close the third quarter with the Bears on top, 25 to 21.

The fourth quarter started with another Walls to Grofsick touchdown.  Grofsick’s kick was good.  The Warriors got the ball back but not for long.  Lineman Billy Brown stepped up and sacked the quarterback.  This helped fill a defensive void with All-Star Evan Ramos injured.  When I asked Coach Wojciechowski what the defense needed to do to fill the void, he said, “We are really looking for some seniors, such as Billy Brown, to step up and for some younger and newer players, such as Kevin Damstra, to work hard and make some good plays.”  And that’s exactly what happened.

Soon after, Tommy Walls took the ball himself and scored a touchdown.  Grofsick’s kick was good.  The Bears kept rolling with a final touchdown from Rich Garzon, running the ball a terrific 60 yards.  Grofsick’s kick was not good.  The Warriors scored one last touchdown, but it would not be enough to stop the Bears.  The clock wound down and the whistle blew with the Bears victorious 45 to 28.