NEW MILFORD — Thanks to Nicholas Dellapiano and Joe Capodagli, the Masuk High football team is back on track.

Dellapiano ran for two touchdowns and connected with the star tight end three times for scores, helping the Panthers bounce back from a lopsided loss with a 39-35 victory over New Milford last Friday.

“We knew this was a big game. People had a lot of doubt in us, but we still believed at practice like we had no doubt,” said Capodagli, who had touchdown catches of 20, 49 and 12 yards, respectively, to push the Panthers to 4-1 on the year. “We’ve got to keep working, and we did that.”

Capodagli’s 12-yard touchdown catch helped Masuk extend its lead to 39-29 with 3:13 left. New Milford pulled within four points with 1:06 remaining on Matt Ryan’s third scoring grab of the night from Tyler Hansen, a 16-yarder, but the Panthers recovered the ensuing onside kick to seal the victory.

“We need to do things better,” New Milford coach Larry Badaracco said. “We need to tackle better, we need to eliminate the mental mistakes. Those are Week 1 things, and they snuck up on us this week. We didn’t prepare well enough. Masuk played really hard and really well.

“They played for 48 minutes, and I don’t think that we did.”

The Green Wave didn’t make it easy for the Panthers, who were tied 14-14 at halftime and trailed 21-20 midway through the third quarter, but all that mattered to coach Joe Lato was that his team got back in the win column.

“It was just important that we played a good game,” Lato said. “We did that. New Milford, they’re a very scary offense. They do a lot of good things. I think Hansen’s one of the best quarterbacks in the state.”

Along with three touchdown passes, Hansen ran for scores of 10 and 4 yards, respectively, to help the Green Wave (2-3) to keep pace in a battle of contrasting offenses.

Hansen threw 21 passes in the first quarter alone, while Masuk did much of its damage on the ground and built a 14-0 lead in the first quarter. Running back Jack Roberge had 73 yards rushing in the first half, while Dellapiano ran for 111 of his 217 yards before the break.

Dellapiano’s 9-yard touchdown run with 3:13 left in the third quarter helped Masuk regain a 26-21 lead. New Milford’s offense stalled after that, not scoring again until midway through the fourth quarter.

Masuk went 75 yards on just six plays on its opening drive, capped by Capodagli’s 20-yard catch to make it 7-0. Andrew Ciancetta’s 1-yard run on the team’s second drive doubled the lead.

The Panthers intercepted Hansen twice (Dellapiano and Michael Pieper) and also got two sacks from Capodagli.

“He’s a dude. He’s a big, physical kid” Badaracco said of the 225-pound Capodagli. “He’s one of the better players in this league.”

dbonjour@ctpost.com; @DougBonjour

MASUK 39, NEW MILFORD 35

MASUK 14 0 12 13 — 39

NEW MILFORD 7 7 7 14 — 35

M — Joe Capodagli 20 pass Nicholas Dellapiano (Collin Briganti kick)

M — Andrew Ciancetta 1 run (Briganti kick)

NM — Matt Ryan 21 pass Tyler Hansen (Chris Montalvo kick)

NM — Hansen 10 run (Montalvo kick)

M — Dellapiano 29 run (Kick failed)

NM — Hansen 4 run (Montalvo kick)

M — Dellapiano 9 run (Pass failed)

M — Capodagli 49 pass Dellapiano (Pass failed)

NM — Ryan 15 pass Hansen (Liam Kenny pass Hansen)

M — Capodagli 12 pass Dellapiano (Briganti kick)

NM — Ryan 16 pass Hansen (Kick failed)

Records: Masuk 4-1; New Milford 2-3.