by Andrew Garda
We weren’t sure what the Montclair High School football team would look like if they had to play a full four quarters before Saturday’s 63-44 win over Seton Hall Prep.
Now we do.
We know they look like a team who won’t quit. Like a team which overcomes problems like fumbles and penalties, and a team which, when push comes to shove, can step up and stop a drive.
With the Pirates driving down the field in the closing minutes of the game, and having struggled to slow the SHP offense down for much of the second half, the Mounties defense had two plays which made all the difference.
First, ahead 56-44 and with Pirates receiver Andrew Perez finding ways to make catches and surge for yards afterwards, Finn Jensen and Marcus Crowell combined for a huge sack.
Forced to throw, Seton Hall quarterback Cameron Carti faded back and tossed a pass to his right.
Which is when the second huge defensive play the Mounties needed happened, as Tysean Williams intercepted the ball and took it the other way for a 70-yard pick-six, sealing the game.
It wasn’t a smooth game for the Mounties defense, which allowed 547 yards along with the 44 points, but it was one where the unit showed it could step up when momentum had shifted in the other direction.
Like the Pirates, the Mounties piled on the yards and points on offense, totaling 599 yards on the day. Running back Danny Webb accounted for 347 of those yards, scoring four times on four very long touchdown runs. Quarterback Tarrin Earle had a few bumps in the road, throwing a pair of interceptions in the second half and fumbling in the first, but found Charles Murphy for two touchdowns and Josh Crawford for one. Willie Matthews rounded out the offensive touchdown production on the day.
It was another example of just how dangerous this offense can be. No matter what the Pirates did on defense, the Mounties offense made them wrong. If they tried to take away the inside running lane, the Mounties ran a toss. If SHP tried to key on Webb, the Mounties ran a reverse away from him. When SHP started stacking the box, MHS threw the ball.
Like the defense, it wasn’t perfect, but it was dynamic.
And if you are someone the Mounties will face in the playoffs, probably a little scary.
For the complete breakdown of the win along with quotes, check out this website and the print edition of the Montclair Local next Thursday.