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Strong Returning Cast Leads Mahwah Football In Opener Vs. Fort Lee

James Cilento returns at quarterback at Mahwah High, where he rushed for 19 touchdowns last year.
James Cilento returns at quarterback at Mahwah High, where he rushed for 19 touchdowns last year. Photo Credit: Contributed

MAHWAH, N.J. -- Mahwah High School's starting backfield returns as the Thunderbirds get ready to kick off a new season on Friday, Sept. 11, against Fort Lee. Kick off is 7 p.m. at Mahwah.

Mahwah finished 8-3 last year and lost in the semifinals of the North 1 Group 3 playoffs to eventual champion Sparta. Fort Lee finished 1-9 last year under first-year coach Rob Bertolini.

The Thunderbirds seemed poised for big things. Senior quarterback James Cilento threw for 557 yards and four touchdowns in nine games last year. He also rushed for 803 yards and 19 TDs. Junior Ron Riccie is a passing threw for the Thunderbirds. The running game will be led by senior Zayjay Colon-Carrero, who rushed for 823 yards last year and six touchdowns.

Mahwah has not had a losing season since coach Jeff Remo's first year, in 2005. In the past five years, the Thunderbirds have gone 38-14.

Fort Lee's football fortunes have been less impressive. The Bridgemen have not won more than two games since 2004, when they won three. Bertolini hopes to bring Fort Lee's program back this year behind running back Jason Samuel-Olagunju, who rushed for 196 yards and two touchdowns last year.

Click here for the complete Mahwah schedule on Max Preps. Click here for the Fort Lee schedule.

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