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The 2019 Preseason Football Previews are sponsored by the County College of Morris, offering an an outstanding education at an affordable price with Division II athletics. Go to www.ccm.edu right now to learn more about this amazing educational institution that is right in our backyard in Randolph, NJ.

Team Vitals

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Head Coach: Dan Fulton
2018 Record: 4-5
Tenure: 2nd Year
Assistants:  Dan Gregory (DC), Todd Pivnick (OC), Rob Marino (WR/DB), Mike Poulter (RB/LB), Kyle Kiernan (WR/DB), Momoh Bassie (OL/DL), Brian Hesse (RB/DB), Joe Gossweiler (QB), Tom Tran (QB/DB) and Dave Fulton (K/Director of Synergy)
State Section: North, Group 2

The Players

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The Franchise Player(s): Senior QB Matt Tuli, senior TE Kyle Junda and senior RB Ethan Gayle.

The Core:  G/MLB Dan Gregory, G/LB Ryan O’Malley, C/DL Carlo Forgione and RB/DB Ismail Yasin.

Studs to Look Out For: OLB Steven Batte, OL/DL Gianpaolo Petrillo, OL/DL Ryan Dominguez, OL Pete Sodano, OL Luca Zirpoli, WR Justin Tuli, WR John Borrello and RB/DB Sonny Conley.

The Skinny

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Coach Fulton is in his second season as head coach but was on staff as an assistant prior.  Fulton likes to run a high flying offense that is designed to score fast and score often.  Last season his Hornets scored as much as 67-points in a game.  Now that this group of players has another year under Fulton, you can expect the Hornets to have more high scoring affairs week-in and week-out.

With three potent weapons in QB Tuli, TE Junda and RB Gayle, opponents will be forced to pick their poison.  Gayle has the agility and speed (4.6 forty) to juke any linebacker and outrun any defensive back on the Hornets schedule.  Junda (4.65 forty speed himself) can beat anyone in a foot race as well, has the size (6-1, 200) to lower his shoulder on a linebacker and won’t be getting tackled by any single defensive back.  But even teams that have the game plan and athleticism to focus on both Gayle and Junda will still have to contend with quarterback Matt Tuli.  Tuli is a great scrambler that can extend plays and if he runs in the open field, his 6-2, 195-pound frame makes him a bear to tackle.

HP’s schedule will be tough week-in and week-out but having five home games is a bonus.  However, three of the first four games will be away (versus Mt Lakes, Wessex and Par Hills).  Getting momentum against those formidable opponents on the road won’t be easy, but if they are able to make it out of that stretch relatively unscathed (say 2-1), that will set the tone for a strong second half of the season.

Getting through their regular season is one thing.  If the Hornets do get to the Second Season, they’ll have to face teams like Rutherford, Westwood, Verona and Newton – squads that have owned this section in recent years.  Morris-Sussex’s Kittatinny and High Point are also slated to be super strong contenders in North, Group 2 as well.

Hanover Park has forever enjoyed a reputation as being a tough competitor and is always in the hunt for the playoffs.  Despite that, they have only one lone state sectional title in school history in 1990.

Prediction

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Even with all the press Tuli, Junda and Gayle get, this is by no means a three-trick pony team.  Guys like Dan Gregory, Ryan O’Malley and Carlo Forgione bring a lot of toughness and power up front and on defense which will give opponents headaches.  This squad is built to win games, no doubt.  Making it to the postseason dance is one thing (and expect them to be there), but wining a sectional title and a bid to a Bowl Game is another.  If this group can stay healthy and weather the ups and downs of a long season, they might be able to ride the momentum at the right time to hang with the big boys of their playoff section.

Schedule

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09-06 @ Mountain Lakes Wilkins Field
09-13 @ West Essex West Essex HS
09-20 Cedar Grove Hanover Park HS
09-27 @ Parsippany Hills Parsippany Hills HS
10-04 Holy Cross (NY) Hanover Park HS
10-11 Hackettstown Hanover Park HS
10-18 Ramsey Hanover Park HS
10-26 @ Madison Madison HS
11-01 Chatham Hanover Park HS

Roster

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# Name Grade Height Weight Offense Defense
2 Kyle Walters 12
4 Steven Batte 12 5’8″ 185 RB OLB
5 Owen Feldman 11 5’10” 160 RB LB
6 Glenn Torkos 12 6’0″ 150 WR OLB
7 Matt Tuli 12 6’2′ 195 QB DB
8 Gabe DiRocco 10 5’10” 145 K K
9 Paul Cosentino 10 5’10” 140 WB DB
10 Justin Tuli 11 5″10′ 150 WR DB
11 Dom Merola 11 5’11” 165 WR DB
12 Bradley Cicco 10 5’11 160 RB LB
13 Christian Valvano 11 5’9 140 QB DB
15 Kyle Junda 12 6’1″ 200 TE LB
18 Johnny Borrello 11 5’9″ 160 WR DB
20 Sonny Conley 11 5’8″ 160 RB DB
21 Mike Corsi 10 5’8″ 140 WR DB
22 Mike Filippone 10 5’9″ 175 RB LB
23 Ethan Gayle 12 5’8″ 175 RB DB
24 Frank Barisciano 10 5’8″ 170 RB DB
25 Joey DiMartinnis 12 5’7″ 185 WR DB
26 Brett Behre 10 5’10” 150 WR DB
27 Chris Nash 11 5’11” 165 RB OLB
32 Eddie Luzniak 11 5’10” 175 TE LB
33 Ismael Yasin 11 5’10” 160 RB DB
36 Thomas Riker 11 5’7″ 160 RB DB
50 Eyan Alcantara 11 5’9″ 185 RB LB
51 Vincent Rispoli 10 5’11 205 OL LB
52 Dan Gregory 11 5’10” 225 OL LB
53 Ryan Dominguez 12 5’11” 245 OL DL
54 Luca Zirpoli 11 5’7″ 245 OL DL
55 Brian Ripoll 11 5’11” 170 OL DL
56 Carlo Forgione 12 6’0″ 205 OL DL
57 Ryan O’Malley 12 5’9″ 205 OL DL
58 Louis Siciliano 10 5’9″ 160 OL DL
59 Leo Ferrantelli 10 5’7 145 OL DL
67 Chris Corrao 11 5’7″ 195 OL DL
68 Yafet Dawit 12 5’10” 220 OL DL
75 GianPaul Petrillo 12 5’10” 295 OL DL
76 Peter Sodano 11 6’0″ 280 OL DL
77 Thomas DeFranco 10 5’11” 220 OL DL

George Muha has been covering high school sports since 2006. He feels high school scholar-athletes are the most important part of the community and highlighting their achievements on the field, in the classroom and within the community is his personal mission.

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