Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Espinal Delivers in Scarlets' Win

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Espinal Delivers in Scarlets' Win

Article excerpt

RIDGEFIELD PARK -- Some would call him Mr. Versatility.

Ridgefield Park coach Pete Kraljic called him "an absolute warrior."

Whatever the Scarlets' do-everything man Jonas Espinal goes by, the junior continues to be a terror for opponents to deal with.

Espinal supplied a pair of touchdowns -- serving as a Wildcat quarterback, running back and wide receiver -- and senior Chris Stofan scored three times on a rainy Friday night to lead Ridgefield Park past previously unbeaten Fort Lee, 35-8. The win moves the Scarlets, ranked No. 13 in The Record Public Top 20, to 5-0.

"Jonas is just a tremendous athlete," Kraljic said of the three- sport star who also excels in baseball and basketball. "Teams have a hard time single-covering him. And you can line him up anywhere. Split end, fullback, tailback, quarterback ... you have to find a way to get him the ball because he makes things happen. Then you have him at linebacker and back deep for kickoffs and punts.

"He's an absolute warrior who doesn't come off the field."

The conditions Friday night prompted Kraljic to go with a heavy dosage of Ridgefield Park's "two-headed monster" of Espinal and Stofan, who finished with 18 carries for 80 yards and the three scores. Espinal accounted for 106 yards of total offense, completing his only pass for 30 yards, hauling in four receptions for 39 yards and one touchdown and rushing five times for 37 yards and another score.

He also was involved in limiting a Fort Lee offense which entered averaging 33.3 points per game to just a TD on Friday.

"Coach stressed to us how important getting this win was for us [Friday]," Espinal said. "And I think we absolutely sent a message."

Ridgefield Park took advantage of a break on its opening drive, turning a near costly turnover into a touchdown. …

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