by Andrew Garda
East Rutherford — They say you can’t go home again.
The Montclair High School football team disagrees.
MetLife Stadium has been something of a second home for the Mounties under the tenure of head coach John Fiore, but 2015 and 2016 were years MHS couldn’t get in the front door.
The Mounties took down Union City with minimal trouble, beating them 35-14 and taking home the North 1, Group 5 state title. For Montclair it was a return to form, a win which was reminiscent of previous wins both this season and during championship runs in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
Things started off as well as the Mounties could have ever hoped for as Union City kicked the ball so that Danny Webb could get his hands on it, which he did, taking it to the house and putting MHS up 7-0 after a Harry Wiley extra point.
After the Soaring Eagles stalled out in their following drive, Tarrin Earle drove the Mounties down the field and added a touchdown with an 11-yard scamper for a score. Earle bootlegged to his left and found wide open space to move on the play.
Webb would find the end zone again in the second quarter to give Montclair a 21-0 lead.
UC was able to move the ball, but unable to find the end zone for most of the night. The Mounties defense would bend but rarely break, letting UC drain the clock on long drives which ended in punts or a turnover on downs.
The Soaring Eagles were surprisingly effective passing the ball to Izayah Reyes on tight end seams, but usually when they entered the red zone, Montclair would shut them down.
Offensively, Montclair’s multiple attack offense was just too much for the Union City defense to handle. While Webb would leave the game with an injury, ending his night with just 55 yards on 15 carries, MHS totaled 103 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. When they weren’t able to move the ball by rushing it, Earle would find his receivers, most often Collin Callahan, who finished the evening with seven catches for 124 yards and a score. Earle would end the night — and his Mountie career — completing 16 of 24 passes for 303 yards and two touchdowns with just one interception.
DJ Williams, Tysean Williams and Charles Murphy all contributed as receivers and Josh Crawford carried the load on the ground late when both Webb and Willie Matthews were hurt.
Union City fought hard, but they were just too out-manned at every position.
Welcome home, Mounties.
Check out the complete recap, along with breakdown and quotes, plus all the Montclair Local coverage for the Mounties Championship in the Thursday print edition of the paper and on this website!
Congratulations to the Montclair Mounties on a great season!