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The West Milford Highlanders beat the Jefferson Falcons by a score of 21-8 Friday night, at West Milford High School. The Highlanders led by senior quarterback Zack Milko, win their second in a row, keeping their playoff push alive.

The game started slowly with a first quarter draw as both defenses forced punts. However, the Highlanders would quickly make a change to that on their first drive of the second quarter quickly adding a long touchdown pass from Zack Milko to his fellow senior receiver Ryan Coyle, to break the scoreless tie.

The Falcons would soon strike back with a touchdown of their own from sophomore running back Mike Gould. The Falcons extra point would start with a bad snap, however, quick thinking by senior Luke Foth led to a lob pass to fellow senior Paulie Monaco for a two point conversion and ultimately a 8-7 lead for the Falcons.

The Jefferson lead wouldn’t stand up for long after a big passing play from Milko to Coyle again set up the Highlanders inside the five yard line. The very next play, 6’3” 225 pounds of quarterback Zack Milko regained the Highlander lead with a rushing touchdown, which would help the Highlanders head to the halftime locker rooms with a 14-8 lead.

The score would hold, for most of the second half until the Highlanders added a touchdown truly icing the game when Milko, again rushes for a touchdown and the 21-8 lead late in the fourth quarter and eventually the win.

After the game coach Steve Maslanek spoke about confidence going into, hopefully the state playoffs.

“I’ve been saying to the boys all week respect the Falcons, respect their coaching and respect their defense. They have been shutting some teams down all year so it’s a great confidence boost to get the win.”

“Our coaching staff is very new with three new coaches, but we have great special teams guys, offensive coordinator does a great job, and we just run around and hit people that’s what we try to do defensively.”(says coach, on how their coaching has improved.)

“Zack’s an excellent player, and a great leader, and he would always say it comes down to everyone around him. When he’s playing well everyone else is playing well and defending him would be a nightmare to me so we love having him.”(On QB, Zack Milko and his breakout game.)

The Highlanders travel to Passaic Valley next Saturday looking to finish their season with a three game win streak. As the Falcons hope to finish their season on a high note against West Morris Mendham back in the Falcons Nest.

Jefferson 0 8 0 0 8
West Milford 0 14 0 7 21

2nd: West Milford: Ryan Coyle 34 pass from Zackary Milko (Zackary Milko kick)
2nd: Jefferson: Mike Gould run (Foth to Monaco)
2nd: West Milford: Zackary Milko 11 run (Zackary Milko kick)
4th: West Milford: Zackary Milko 1 run (Zackary Milko kick)

Johnny Knox is an intern at Morris Sussex Sports specializing in sports journalism. He's also a junior at Jefferson HS where he is also a varsity baseball player.

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