Dayton football back on gridiron for Nov. 4 home game vs. South Hunterdon; Brearley seeks 2nd straight win; Roselle Park out to snap 5-game slide

North 2, Group 1 playoff field to be finalized Nov. 5

After having to forfeit their last two games for safety reasons due to an increased number of injuries, the Dayton Bulldogs can’t wait to get back on the field for their Nov. 4 home game vs. South Hunterdon.
“We’re very excited,” Dayton head coach Dominic Cuniglio said. “We’re practicing out there with the players that are able to and we got some players back.
“The last two weeks have been tough, not being able to play, but we’re looking forward to a great game and want our seniors to go out and play one more time at home.”
Dayton (1-7) is also looking to play one more time after this weekend, which would be a sectional consolation game. The Bulldogs will not qualify for the North 2, Group 1 playoffs.
With a record of 1-5, Dayton decided it would be best to not play games at Group 2 Roselle and at Mid-State 38 Conference Union Division champion Bound Brook the last two weekends. No coach wants to give up any game at all in a season where you play only 10, 11 or 12.
“The competitor in me always wants to go out there and coach,” Cuniglio said.
South Hunterdon is 0-6 and has lost seven straight going back to last year.
“I think it’s a good matchup,” Cumiglio said. “We’ve had some good games with them in the past.
“We’re looking to win our second game and they are looking to win their first. I think it will be a battle.”
Dayton’s win is over Pingry 19-6 at Pingry, while South Hunterdon’s closest game is a 21-14 loss at Pingry.
“We want to send the seniors off on the right foot,” Cuniglio said.
Brearley (5-3) has now qualified for the playoffs four years in a row – all in North 2, Group 1 – while head coach Scott Miller has guided the Bears to the playoffs 11 times in 15 seasons.
Brearley snapped a two-game losing streak last week by handling New Providence 27-13 at home.
A Brearley team hit hard by graduation managed to put it all together to produce a winning season so far.
“We’ve been able to run our veer option a lot better,” Miller said.
Junior running back Khalid Bonnet is having a sensational season, accumulating close to 1,200 yards rushing in eight games.
Brearley has one shutout and two other wins where it gave up only one score.
“Our defense has been starting to play better,” Miller said. “Our kids who came into the season inexperienced have matured.”
Brearley has a close win at Dayton 22-21 and a week later a close loss at Manville (6-2) by the score of 28-21. Manville scored the winning touchdown in the fourth quarter after Brearley tied the game at 21-21 with a field goal by Nick Arcieri.
“We missed three extra points and then had first-and-goal at the Manville 5 with four minutes left, but was called for off sides,” Miller said. “We got pushed back and had to kick a field goal instead of having a chance to take the lead.”
All in all it’s been a pretty solid season for the Bears, who will most likely be on the road for the first round of the North 2, Group 1 playoffs.
“Coming off last year with the kids we had to replace these kids have responded,” Miller said. “The goal was to make the playoffs and we accomplished that.”
Brearley wraps its regular season Nov. 4 at home against Group 2 Hillside (3-5).
Roselle Park started the season with two double-digit, shutout victories, but since then has lost five straight, including games by four, seven, one and 11 points.
The Panthers are next at Manville Nov. 4.dscn0068

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