DAYTON FOOTBALL PREVIEW: Bulldogs are going to throw the ball once again

SPRINGFIELD – The Bulldogs, like any other team, are going to do what they feel they can do best.
Offensively, that’s throw the football.
Returning at quarterback and eyeing another highly-productive season is senior signal-caller Joe Kastner.
Also a prominent baseball player, last fall Kastner threw for nearly 1,200 yards and directed Dayton to a season-ending three-game winning streak that saw the Bulldogs average 32 points and outscore the opposition 95-31.
“Our offense is built around him,” third-year head coach Dominic Cuniglio said. “He has great skills. He is our offense and when push comes to shove he’ll be back there throwing the ball.”
One of Kastner’s leading receivers is junior Antonio Salcfas, who Cuniglio reported had over 1,000 all-purpose yards in 2015, including passing, rushing and receiving.
“Antonio can do a lot of different things for us,” Cuniglio said. “At that position were are new, but old. We have older kids who are playing for the first time.
“We have some good skill kids from other sports. They will continue with what we’re doing offensively.”
Dayton graduated all five offensive linemen, with junior Anthony Rajoppi moving to left tackle after playing tight end a year ago.
Added to the line is senior Lawrence Levy, who was a goalkeeper with the Dayton boys’ soccer program the past three years.
Right guard Nick Maslo played on the junior varsity last year and is “stepping up” his game according to Cuniglio.
“We’re young in experience, but old (as far as having older kids),” Cuniglio said.
Last year Dayton became more of a three-man front on defense, but this year there is more depth – according to Cuniglio – on the line, so the Bulldogs have gone back to more of a 4-3 scheme.
One key player back on that side of the ball is returning starter Anthony Rajoppi, a junior who last year suffered a torn ACL injury early on that sidelined him for the rest of the season.
“Anthony has worked real hard and we expect big things from him this year,” Cuniglio said.
Another player geared up to make an impact is first-year starter Brian Katz, a senior linebacker.
“Brian has been anxiously awaiting his turn,” Cuniglio said.
First-year player Jake Quintall, a senior cornerback, showed promise in the pre-season, according to Cuniglio.
“The kids continue to work hard and learn every day and that’s the most important thing,” Cuniglio said. “They’re getting better and that’s what counts.
Dayton opens at Belvidere Sept. 9, with the County Seaters coming off 8-3 and 7-4 finishes the past two seasons that saw them each time reach the North 2, Group 1 semifinals. Belvidere lost to eventual champion Shabazz two years ago and to Brearley last year.
Belvidere is led on offense by returning senior quarterback Jake Thornton.
“I think that Belvidere is the favorite to win our division this year,” Cuniglio said.
Dayton is in the Mid-State 38 Conference’s Union Division along with Roselle Park, Bound Brook, Pingry, Belvidere, Brearley, Manville and South Hunterdon.

LT Anthony Rajoppi, junior, (6-1, 195)
LG Tyler Stoeckle, senior, (5-9 ,205)
C Ryan Lashuk, junior, (5-10, 210)
RG Nick Maslo, junior, (5-11, 210)
RT Jeff Carrier, senior, (6-0, 245)
L Lawrence Levy, senior, (5-8, 240)
WR Antonio Salcfas, junior, (6-1, 195)
WR Jake Quintall, senior, (5-8, 170)
WR Jovanni Salcfas, freshman, (5-9, 180)
WR James Patania, senior, (5-11, 175)
QB Joe Kastner, senior, (5-11, 170)
RB Brian Katz, senior, (5-11, 190)
PK Antonio Salcfas, junior, (6-1, 195)
Returning starters (4): Rajoppi,
Lashuk, Antonio Salcfas, Kastner.

E Ryan Lashuk, junior, (5-10, 210)
T Nick Maslo, junior, (5-11, 210)
T Jeff Carrier, senior, (6-0, 245)
E Lawrence Levy, senior, (5-8, 240)
LB Brian Katz, senior, (5-11, 190)
LB Anthony Rajoppi, junior, (6-1, 195)
LB Tyler Stoeckle, senior, (5-9, 205)
LB Aly Mohamed, senior, (5-6, 150)
CB Joe Kastner, senior, (5-11, 170)
CB Jake Quintall, senior, (5-8, 170)
S Antonio Salcfas, junior, (6-1, 195)
S Jovanni Salcfas, freshman, (5-9, 180)
P Antonio Salcfas, junior, (6-1, 195)
Returning starters (3): Rajoppi,
Kastner, Antonio Salcfas.

Head Coach: Dominic Cuniglio, since 2014.
A 1993 Steinert graduate.
Third season: 9-11 (.450).
Conference: Mid-State 38
Division: Union
Section: North 2, Group 1
Dayton’s last playoff season: 2012
2015: (5-5 and 3-5, tied fifth Valley Division)
Dayton’s fourth-year complex: Field Turf.
Cuniglio guided Dayton to wins in its last three
games during each of his first two seasons at
the helm of the Bulldogs.Cuniglio was the
interim head coach at Union in 2012 – leading the
Farmers to a 5-4 playoff season – after serving as
the offensive coordinator there in 2011. He was
then an assistant coach at Nottingham in 2013.
Cuniglio returned to coaching in Union County
in 2014 as a full-fledged head coach for
the first time in his coaching career.

Sept. 9 Pingry, 7 p.m.
Sept. 16 at Belvidere, 7 p.m.
Sept. 23 South Hunterdon, 7 p.m.
Sept. 30 Roselle Park, 7 p.m.
Oct. 7 at Dayton, 7 p.m.
Oct. 14 at Manville, 7 p.m.
Oct. 21 at Bound Brook, 7 p.m.
Oct. 28 New Providence, 7 p.m.
Nov. 4 Hillside, 7 p.m.
Head coach: Dominic Cuniglio,
third season

(H) Dayton 1, Hillside 0 (forfeit)
Score was Hillside 34, Dayton 13,
but Hillside used ineligible player.
(A) Bound Brook 42, Dayton 6
(A) Brearley 27, Dayton 14
(H) Belvidere 34, Dayton 14
(H) Dayton 50, South Hunterdon 28
(A) New Providence 31, Dayton 7
(A) Roselle Park 44, Dayton 0
(H) Dayton 32, Manville 7
(H) Dayton 27, Pingry 24
(H) Dayton 36, Bogota 0
Head coach: Dominic Cuniglio,
second season
Section: North 2, Group 1
Conference: Mid-State 38
Division: Valley 3-5
Record: 5-5
Home: 5-1
Away: 0-4
Points for: 187
Points against: 237
Shutouts: 1
Overtime: 0-0