by Andrew Garda
After back to back disappointing weekends, the Montclair Mounties finally had everything firing on all cylinders as they scored early and cruise to a relatively easy 44-7 win over Columbia High School on Saturday, Oct. 5.
The Mounties started things off with a little razzle-dazzle as they ran a Jet-sweep, but saw the ball end up in sophomore backup quarterback Solomon Brennan’s hands. The lefty watched as quarterback Michael Robinson ran a wheel route and was ignored by the defense.
Brennen hit the wide open Robinson before the defense could adjust and Robinson made his way to the end zone.
Robinson would hit the trifecta before the end of the game — a receiving touchdown, a rushing touchdown and a passing touchdown — as the Mounties never let off the gas.
Offensively, this was perhaps the best game Montclair has had. They did fumble twice — including one in their own end which resulted in Columbia’s only points — but gone were most of the miscues and erratic decisions which had marred them in losses to West Orange, Bayonne and East Orange.
One of the factors was the return of senior running back Nate Bryan, who landed with a splash executing runs of 30 and 26 yards for his first two carries of the season. He would go on to score as well, as all three backs — Bryan, Jordan Diggs and Jordan Williams found the end zone.
Bryan did more than just run the ball, though, as he played very well at cornerback.
With a little more depth at both positions, the Mounties seemed to gain the spark they have been lacking this season.
Bryan joined a defense which pitched a shutout this week. Led by seniors Nareece Wright and Shawn Collins, the Mounties front seven completely shut down the Cougars ground game, while also bringing plenty of pressure to Columbia’s quarterback.
When Columbia did get a pass off, the secondary was almost always there to bat the ball away. If they had been able to hang onto the ball a few times, they would have generated at least two interceptions as well.
Having both the offense and defense on track couldn’t come at a better or more critical time. Next Saturday at Woodman Field, the Mounties face a tough Seton Hall Prep team which sits at 4-1 after dismantling East Orange, 31-12 this weekend.
Win or lose, Montclair will get plenty of Power Points, but if they can find a way to steal a win, it would put the Mounties in good position as they try to recover and make the 2019 playoffs.
With a win over Columbia, and division games against Bloomfield and Livingston — both winnable games — Montclair isn’t out of it yet, even with a loss to SHP.
A win though, could give them the momentum they need to not only make the playoffs, but perhaps a playoff run.
For a complete breakdown of the game as well as quotes from coaches and players, check out this week’s edition of the Montclair Local.