by Andrew Garda
The Montclair Mounties looked like their old selves in their 51-14 defeat of the Bloomfield High School Bengals, dominating on both sides of the ball while scoring early and often against their rivals.
Despite the loss of several players like quarterback Charles Murphy Jr., and guards Bo Bigelow and Patrick Barr, the Mounties executed well and didn’t seem to miss a beat.
Murphy, who was out with an injury, was replaced by junior A.J. Zaccareo, who managed to offense well and added nine yards on the ground.
Zaccareo wasn’t asked to throw much, and in fact three different Mounties tossed passes — Zaccareo, senior running back Josh Crawford and senior receiver/defensive back Wade Korbel.
Korbel even hit senior receiver Walt King for a 10-yard touchdown in the second quarter to put Montclair up 23-7.
Barr and Bigelow were both out with leg injuries and replaced by seniors Alejandro Dagnino and Sebastian Garda, both of whom were effective in helping shore up the interior.
The offensive line was especially key for a mammoth day by senior running back Josh Crawford, who totaled 316 yards and four touchdowns on 22 carries.
Crawford gave a shout-out to his offensive line after the game on Twitter., and head coach John Fiore praised the work by the unit, calling it their best day this season.
*4 SHOUT OUT MY O LINE THOUGH!!!! https://t.co/fKqpgNUuh0
— ‘Crawford4️⃣㊙️? (@Rico_Elite) October 13, 2018
Crawford wasn’t the only one to execute on the ground, as senior linebacker/running back Willie Matthews returned to the field, gaining 118 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries. Sophomore Jordan Diggs (7-58) and junior Nate Bryan (4-70-1) rounded out the ground attack.
With Matthews, the rushing yards were gravy, as the real impact of having him on the field is his leadership and athleticism on defense.
Matthews flew around the field making tackles and creating opportunities for other players. The result was an even more effective front seven and a more cohesive defensive unit overall.
For a complete review of the game as well as quotes from players and coaches, please see thursday’s on-line and print editions of the Montclair Local.