The Holmdel Pop Warner Junior PeeWee Football Team lost their bid to claim the title of Eastern Regional Champions after losing to the Cannoneers from Lansdale, Pa., 12-0, in the semifinal regional game held in Easton, Pa. Winning the regional title would have provided the Junior PeeWee team a chance to travel to Disney World in Orlando, Fla., to face off against some of the best Pop Warner football teams in the country. Holmdel started its journey by ending their regular season at 9-0-1, capturing the Division B-North title. The first opponent Holmdel faced in the first round of playoffs was a tough Hillsborough Hills team, which Holmdel confidently handled in a 19-6 defeat. Holmdel then traveled to Jackson to face a fierce undefeated Rahway team and came up victorious in a 13-0 clash. The Holmdel defensive unit held Rahway to a negative 75 yards and did not give up a single first down. Holmdel went on to play Lansdale, Pa. in the Eastern Regional semifinals, on Nov. 23. It was a very close game despite the score of 12-0. Tony Carbone scored a touchdown in the first quarter, which was called back due to a penalty. Lansdale did not score until late in the second quarter making the score 6-0 at halftime. Holmdel had many chances to tie the game, especially in the third quarter when Holmdel advanced to Lansdale 17-yard line. The Hornets came up short and it was a dog fight until the last three minutes, when Lansdale scored the game-deciding touchdown with only 3:15 to go in the game, dashing Holmdel’s dreams of advancing. “We accomplished a lot for Holmdel Pop Warner. We won a division title, and two regional games to become New Jersey State Champions and building a great program for our town,” Couch Lou Quaglia said. “These kids have worked hard. They learned a lot of football with a lot of great coaches that worked hard with me and it showed on the field.” The 2002 Junior PeeWee team is the first team in Holmdel Pop Warner history to win two regional games and advance to the regional semifinals. Holmdel’s defense, nicknamed the “Wack Attack”, was pivotal in the success of the Hornets this year. They recorded nine shutouts this season, and only allowed a handful of first downs the whole season. Tony Carbone, Matt Menges, Dylan Murphy, Corey Downey, Kevin Gallogly, Carl Palo, Chris Marciano, Brandon Murray, Chris Falvo, Michael Biebel, Rocco Quaglia and Dan Mykityshyn anchored the defense. The offensive play of the Hornet squad was crucial to their success as well. Key players on the Holmdel offensive line include: Carl Palo, Steve McGrory, Matt Menges, Daniel Gordon, Rocco Quaglia, Kyle Mowery, Kevin Gallogly, Tom Baumlin, Joe Disco, Brian Decosta, Tommy Longo and Mark Sobel. Quaglia’s staff includes Mike Keating, Rick Rybakowski, Mark Biebel, Vic Falvo, Lou Menges, Eric Hernando and Steve “Pop” Cittadino.