As area high school football teams went 7-2 against teams from outside the area, numerous players came through with massive performances in the clutch.

It was an outstanding week for area teams coming up with big wins against teams from out of the area.

Football has been on the rise in Sussex County recently, and it showed the state in Week 3 that it’s not going anywhere. Sparta came back from a 21-7 deficit in the fourth quarter to beat West Morris, which is possibly the best team in Morris County.

Sussex Tech went down to Jersey City and pulled off a stunner in upsetting Hudson Catholic by a 27-18 score. Jefferson pulled off a big road win at Mount Olive in a 28-21 triumph.

In total, area teams went 7-2 against teams from outside the area. Newton and Pope John both picked up their first wins of the year while Wallkill Valley was able to make a dramatic comeback for the second week in a row.


1. Austen Frattura, Sparta: Freshman remained poised facing a big deficit and led Sparta back from a two-score hole in the fourth quarter on the road at West Morris. Completed 13-of-22 passes for 192 yards and two touchdowns.

2. Alex Mastroianni, Wallkill Valley: Senior quarterback once again came up clutch for his team in leading a fourth-quarter comeback for the second week in a row. Ran for 171 yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries while completing 6-of-11 passes for 86 yards and a touchdown.

3. Jack Young, Newton: Did most of his damage in the running game with 101 yards and two touchdowns to help lead Newton to its first win of the season, 34-7, over Whippany Park.


1. Trey Kaplan, Lenape Valley: Put up a staggering 223 yards and four touchdowns for Lenape Valley in a 35-13 win over Lakeland. Had runs of 80 and 57 yards replacing the injured Nick Molinari.

2. Jacob Mafaro, Kittatinny: Put forth his biggest game of the young season with an average of 13.3 yards per carry. Final tally of 11 carries for 146 yards and three touchdowns and added a receiving score.

3. Austin Durham, Sussex Tech: Led the Mustangs to a stunning 27-18 upset at Hudson Catholic with 10 carries for 173 yards and a touchdown.

4. Austin Castorina, Sparta: Had a huge final drive for the Spartans and scored the game-winning 4-yard score. Finished with 108 yards and two touchdowns on 19 attempts and four catches for 40 yards.

5. Tyler Zummo, Pope John: Breakout game for the Lions on the ground with 13 carries for 125 yards and a touchdown in a 41-0 win at Livingston.

6. Bo Maroney, Sussex Tech: Another big day for the Mustangs’ jack-of-all-trades as he tallied 120 yards and a score on 12 attempts.

7. Jason Kuehner, Hackettstown: Main offensive threat for the Tigers got handed the ball 14 times and ran for 115 yards and two touchdowns.

8. Travis Tallamy, High Point: Once again was the High Point workhorse and came through with 102 yards and two touchdowns on 24 attempts.

9. Ben Mizeski, Wallkill Valley: Main weapon on offense alongside Mastroianni carried 17 times for 109 yards and a touchdown in addition to leading the team with four catches for 46 yards.

10. Takeo Sibblies, Newton: Young sophomore turned heads with a performance of 114 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries for the Braves.

11. Collin Andriola, Vernon: Got the lion’s share of the work for Vernon and responded with 113 yards on 25 carries.

12. Michael Gould, Jefferson: Ran for two touchdowns for the Falcons in a 28-21 win at Mount Olive.

13. Gavin Coles, Lenape Valley: A big threat on the outside in the running game with 47 yards and also caught two passes for 47 yards.

14. Brycen Mafaro, Kittatinny: Only needed three attempts to gain 99 yards rushing.


1. David Hanna, Jefferson: Went over 100 yards for the second straight game with 107 yards on six catches.

2. Aden Moskovitz, Vernon: Once again got a large share of targets for Vernon and caught six catches for 59 yards.

3. Tyler Szabo, Sparta: Caught a 58-yard touchdown pass from Frattura to start the comeback in the fourth quarter.

4. Caleb Rippey, Jefferson: Was once again a solid complementary receiver to Hanna with four catches for 51 yards.


1. Keith Ferguson, Jefferson: Had an amazing game with an eye-popping 15 tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble.

2. Caleb Rippey, Jefferson: Hauled in two interceptions, including the game-winning pick in the end zone with Mount Olive going in for the tying score.

3. Mike DeNucci, Pope John: All-around force for the Lions made eight tackles, had 1½ sacks and returned an interception for a touchdown.

4. J.J. Valentin, Sparta: Was a force rushing the passer with three sacks to go along with seven tackles and one forced fumble.

5. Jefferson Felter, Jefferson: A beast in run defense with 15 tackles and also managed to grab an interception.

6. Gavin Coles, Lenape Valley: Helped stop the Lakeland spread attack with two interceptions.

7. Joe Batton, Sparta: Opportunistic in recovering two fumbles for Sparta. Turnovers were big in Sparta’s 27-21 win at West Morris.

8. Hunter Nolan, Wallkill Valley: In addition to his kicking exploits, Nolan played big on defense with 11 tackles and a sack.

9. Sam Bushey, Sparta: Middle linebacker was a rock for the defense with a team-high 10 tackles and a sack.

10. Cole Weekley, Wallkill Valley: Asked to do even more with an injury to Ryan Nugent and led the way with 13 tackles for the Rangers.

11. Bobby McMillian, Wallkill Valley: Reached double-digit tackles for Wallkill Valley with 11.

12. Jason Kuehner, Hackettstown: Usual leader of the Hackettstown defense did that again with 11 tackles.

13. Juan Hughes, High Point: Sophomore had a breakout effort in leading High Point with nine tackles.

14. Cole Massar, High Point: Helped lead the Wildcats to a shutout of North Warren with eight tackles.

15. Ryan Pappas, Newton: Returned an interception 45 yards to the end zone for a pick-six.

16. Jack Young, Newton: Safety led Newton with six tackles and recorded an interception.

17. Robert Bruce, Kittatinny: Recovered two fumbles for the Cougars in addition to four tackles.


1. Hunter Nolan, Wallkill Valley: Tops this list for the second week in a row with another game-winning kick. Booted a 21-yard field goal as time expired for Wallkill Valley and made all five of his extra points.

2. Cole Massar, High Point: Was a demon on special teams for the Wildcats with two blocked punts.

3. Jack Costello, Kittatinny: Never stopped hustling on special teams and blocked two field goals.

4. Adnan Brescic, Lenape Valley: Made all five of Lenape Valley’s extra points.

5. Matthew Johnson, Jefferson: Converted on all four extra points for the Falcons.