Dayton football preview: Bulldogs eager to show they have multiple options

SPRINGFIELD – Some teams like to spread the ball out on offense so that opposing defenses will not be able to key on any one player.

That’s an offensive goal for the Bulldogs this year as, after four years, Anthony Cioffi – now playing at Rutgers – will not be in the lineup.

“Our cast was so young last year, we only had five seniors (there were actually 11 listed on the program roster),” second-year head coach Steve Trivino said. “The kids are eager to play and not wait for Anthony to make something happen.”

Trivino has now been in charge of the program for over a year after getting a late start last year in June.

“The kids have been with me a year now and it makes a big difference,” Trivino said. “We have a lot of athletes, so I feel we can be versatile.

“We’re young on the line, but the kids spent the year in the weight room and we had a pretty good summer.”

Among the options on offense are senior running backs Jerrod Fletcher and Semaj Grant and junior wide receiver Mike Iuliano, all returning starters.

“Jerrod has downhill speed and is able to find his way,” Trivino said. “Semaj is more of a slasher, a counter back.”

Replacing Cioffi at quarterback are juniors Andrew Lashuk and John Apicella. Senior Semaj Grant is also a capable running back.

Senior Joe Iuliano is back from a hand injury he sustained last year and is one of the defensive leaders from his end position.

“He’s shown a lot of maturity and he can really apply pressure,” Trivino said.

Sophomore returning starter Saverio Salfcas has moved from tackle to linebacker.

“He’s been real dominant in our scrimmages,” Trivino said. “He’s a real force.”

Dayton was one of two teams in Union County last year, Linden was the other, that – under the NJSIAA’s new format – qualified for the playoffs with a record under .500. The Bulldogs turned their season around with a three-game winning streak after starting 0-3.

“This team is completely different from last year’s,” Trivino said. “We’re not waiting for one guy to do the job. We’re going to have 11 guys playing this game.

“Our line is young, but if they learn to just block straight ahead, I love our skill guys.”



LT Mike Evans, sophomore, (6-2,225)

LG Alex Verducci, junior, (5-10, 210)

C Austin Knapp, junior, (5-10, 185)

RG Saverio Salcfas, sophomore, (5-10, 210)

RT Ben Steel, junior, (5-10, 215)

E Mike Iuliano, junior, (6-2, 185)

E TJ Kanarek, junior, (5-10, 165)

QB Andrew Lashuk, junior, (6-1, 185)

QB John Apicella, junior, (5-9, 165)

RB Jerrod Fletcher, senior, (5-10, 175)

RB Semaj Grant, senior, (5-6, 165)

RB John Turner, junior, (6-1, 205)

PK Andrew Lashuk, junior, (6-1, 185)

Returning starters (5): Salcfas, Steel,

Mike Iuliano, Fletcher, Grant.



T Casy Olohan, senior, (5-9, 195)

T Ben Steel, junior, (5-10, 215)

E Joe Iuliano, senior, (6-1, 185)

E John Turner, junior, (6-1, 185)

LB Saverio Salcfas, sophomore, (5-10, 210)

LB Brendan Burke, junior, (5-9, 165)

LB Andrew Lashuk, junior, (6-1, 185)

LB Mike Iuliano, junior, (6-2, 185)

CB John Apicella, junior, (5-9, 165)

CB Noah Goldberg, sophomore, (6-4, 185)

S Mike DePalma, junior, (5-8, 155)

Returning starters (5): Steel, Joe Iuliano,

Salcfas, Mike Iuliano, DePalma.



Head coach: Steve Trivino, since 2012.

Second season: 4-6 (.400)

Conference: Mid-State 38

Division: Union

Dayton’s last playoff season: 2012

2012: (4-6, 2-2 in Union Division-third)

Dayton Sports Complex: Field Turf.

Trivino was previously a head coach at Newark Academy

after being a longtime assistant at Caldwell. He guided the

Bulldogs to the North 2, Group 1 playoffs last year.



Sept. 12 Bernards, 7 p.m.

Sept. 20 Bound Brook, 7 p.m.

Sept. 27 at New Providence, 7 p.m.

Oct. 4 at Brearley, 7 p.m.

Oct. 11 Belvidere, 7 p.m.

Oct. 19 at Pingry, 2 p.m.

Oct. 25 South Hunterdon, 7 p.m.

Nov. 1 Roselle Park, 7 p.m.

Nov. 8 at Manville, 7 p.m.

Head coach: Steve Trivino,

second season



(A) Bernards 49, Dayton 14

(A) Bound Brook 41, Dayton 19

(H) New Providence 43, Dayton 0

(H) Dayton 19, Brearley 16

(A) Dayton 21, Belvidere 14

(H) Dayton 34, Pingry 20

(A) South Hunterdon 14, Dayton 10

(A) Roselle Park 28, Dayton 21

(H) Dayton 35, Manville 7

(A) Hoboken 54, Dayton 14

All home games at Union.

Head coach: Steve Trivino,

first season.

Section: North 2, Group 1

Conference: Mid-State 38

Division: Union 2-2

Record: 4-6

Home: 3-1

Away: 1-5

Points for: 187

Points against: 286

Shutouts: 0

Overtime: 0-0