Former Raiders and Buccaneers will be taking to the gridiron once again this Sunday -- and all for a good cause.
Alumni of the friendly arch-rival football teams will be meeting for a charity flag football game to be held at 1 pm at Belleville High School, 100 Passaic Ave. Proceeds from concessions and admission will go towards the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund.
The game is being organized by former Buccaneers Jason Luzzi and Mike Perinotti as well as former Nutley Raider Bill Mbua.
Luzzi, a 2005 graduate of Belleville High School, said he was motivated to pull the game together after his family’s home in Ortley Beach was damaged. The Shore town was among the hardest-hit by Sandy, with several homes wiped out, Luzzi said.
He was also inspired by the rescheduling of the Nutley-Belleville gridiron matchup, which traditionally took place Thanksgiving Day but is now held at the start of the season.
“I just grew up down the Shore in the summer. That, and the fact that I played for Belleville, and I was sad to see the Thanksgiving game go, were why I wanted to do this,” the former standout football and baseball player said. “It was important to me.”
Several businesses and organizations are helping with the effort, including the Chandelier, ShopRite, Jim Dandy’s, Algieri’s Pizza, Michael’s Roscommon House, Nanina’s in the Park, Belleville Jr. Bucs parents organization, the Belleville-Nutley Gridiron Dinner and Rich Yanuzzi and the Belleville Athletic Council.