by Andrew Garda

garda@montclairlocal.news

With the 2017 playoffs set to begin next weekend, the Montclair Mounties chief concern was getting out of the game against Columbia with everyone healthy.

They were able to do just that Saturday afternoon, while also dismantling the Cougars 56-0.

On a day set aside to celebrate the senior Mounties, the team gave the fans a lot of other things to cheer about. Quarterback Tarrin Earle threw for five touchdowns in the first half, a personal record which also likely puts the Bucknell commit at the top of the list for passing touchdowns in a season by a Mountie.

Linebacker Willie Matthews set the record for career tackles with his first tackle of the game, and Danny Webb returned his first punt of the season, which the Army commit returned for a 60-yard touchdown.

The Mounties scored 49 points in the first half and were able to rest their starters while giving the second and third strings some work against a beleaguered Columbia team. Nate Bryan added the sole touchdown of the second half, a 12-yard touchdown run which again showed that he should be able to take the baton with no problem from the likes of Webb, Matthews and Josh Crawford after next season.

If there is one hiccup with the team’s efforts on Saturday, it’s the penalties. Montclair had four offensive penalties in the first half for n the neighborhood of 40 yards, and a pair of defensive penalties (unsportsmanlike conduct after an interception and running into the kicker) as well.

While they were able to tighten things up in the second half, it’s the one area that they have had to work on and perhaps the one thing which could stop a team which is loaded with talent on both sides of the ball.

Next week the Mounties will face Livingston at Woodman, kicking off at 1pm. That gives them a week to work on their discipline. While the Mounties blew the Lancers out 41-0 back on September 15, they know they cannot take anyone lightly.

Each game is it’s own season. With eight ‘seasons’ behind them, they know one slip up can erase a lot of hard work to date.

For a complete breakdown of the victory over Columbia with quotes from players and coaches, as well as a preview of the first round game against Livingston, check out Thursday’s edition of the Montclair Local.