Carlos Sandoval pick six cements Elmwood Park win over Ridgewood
Sunset illuminates the sky moments before kickoff of a game between Ridgewood and Elmwood Park, Friday, Sept, 14, 2012. | J.Geil ~ For Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 25, 2012 12:35AM
ELMWOOD PARK — A tight game turned in a span of 31 seconds as Elmwood Park used a big touchdown pass and an interception return early in the fourth quarter to take control of the game and defeat arch rival Ridgewood 42-28 Friday night in Elmwood Park.
“That’s like our Super Bowl,” said Elmwood Park senior running back and defensive back Carlos Sandoval. “We’ll take it game-by-game here and look to make the playoffs.”
Senior Patrick McNulty connected on a 60-yard bomb with classmate Mitch Cervantes with 11:27 left in the game to give the Tigers (3-1) their fourth lead of the game at 28-21. Sandoval picked off Ridgewood junior quarterback Geri Aliaj with 10:46 remaining and returned it 30 yards to double the lead and take the wind out of the Rebels’ sails.
“We weren’t able to stop them from running, and we couldn’t rush the ball,” said Ridgewood head coach Chris Zack. “They pretty much had that one long pass (in the second half) and then the pick six. We were tied, and then in a matter of seconds we’re down 14.”
Sandoval led all rushers with 124 yards on 11 carries. He also scored three times — a 68-yard catch-and-run to open the scoring; a 29-yard run late in the third; and the back-breaking interception return. Fellow senior David Benavidez also eclipsed the century mark with 103 yards on 16 carries and converted all six extra points. Junior James Angelico and senior James Gonzalez each scored on the ground for the Tigers.
Aliaj was forced to carry the load for the Rebels (1-3), completing 26-of-48 passes for 352 yards and three scores and two interceptions. Junior Mike Acramowicz was his main target with 13 catches for 163 yards and two TD’s.
Junior Sam Karim scored from a yard out to tie the contest at 14 as the first half expired while senior Tammer Saadeh made a lovely over-the-shoulder catch early in the fourth to make it 21-all.
Pick up your local Pioneer Press newspaper on Sept. 20 to read more about the Elmwood Park and Ridgewood football teams.