PATRICK’S SECTIONAL FINAL HIGHLIGHTS:
- “Mount Olive triumphs over mighty Roxbury in thriller”: The No. 19 ranked Mount Olive Marauders upset and handed the previously unbeaten No.16 ranked Roxbury Gaels their first loss of the season 27-26. The teams met in the Section 2, Group 4 final. The first half was dominated by Roxbury. Gaels Senior running back Jahmani Miller had two short touchdown runs in the first quarter. Mount Olive would answer Miller’s first score with a 22-yard touchdown reception from Lincoln Youtz. A couple possessions later, in the second quarter, Roxbury do-everything player Colin Richter made a heads up play to return a Mount Olive shanked punt for a 34-yard touchdown. Richter’s awareness gave his team a 20-7 lead after a costly blocked extra point. Mount Olive turned things around in the second half with their rushing attack. Marauders Quarterback Jake Asbury and running back Tyler Cumming helped tie up the score at 20 in the third quarter. They each scored rushing touchdowns. Cumming rushed for a whopping 204 yards on 28 carries. Richter blocked the extra point after Cumming’s touchdown to keep the game tied. With 7:02 left, Colin Richter was at it again when he caught a 35-yard touchdown pass from Anthony Skawinski for a 26-20 lead. Another blocked extra point would come back to haunt Roxbury. On their last drive, the Marauders drove down the field 80 yards and on 4th and 6 wide receiver Vincent Carpini made the play of the season for Mount Olive. He hauled in a 9-yard touchdown on a comeback route with just 23 seconds left. Kicker Izzy Kolbusz would give Mount Olive the 27-26 win with her extra point. With the victory, Mount Olive captured its second sectional title in school history. They will travel to face the unbeaten Ramapo Raiders in the Semifinal Round of the Group 4 Tournament next Friday.
- “Wolfpack comeback to shock Old Tappan to capture their third consecutive sectional title”: The sixth seeded West Morris Wolfpack executed an improbable comeback to upset the top seeded and 11th ranked Old Tappan Golden Knights 21-17. West Morris Senior Garrett Crisp was the hero in this one. Crisp scored the game-winning touchdown from 26 yards out with 1:37 remaining in the 4th quarter. He then made the interception that would seal the game as Old Tappan was driving in West Morris territory. Old Tappan had built a 17-7 lead in the first half. The Wolfpack would not be denied their third consecutive sectional title. Quarterback Jacob Morris plunged into the endzone for a 1-yard touchdown that culminated a 19 play 80-yard drive. That drive almost took 11 minutes off the clock in the 4th quarter. Garrett Crisp’s heroics on both sides of the ball helped avenge West Morris’s 21-6 defeat to Old Tappan in the Group 3 Semifinals last season. The Wolfpack will go on the road to play the West Essex Knights in the Semifinal Round of the Group 3 Tournament next Friday.
- “HERD defend sectional title with huge aerial attack”: The fourth seeded Mountain Lakes HERD threw past the third seeded Hawthorne Bears in 35-14 rout. Mountain Lakes surprised Hawthorne as they went to the air more in the first half rather than running it. The game plan worked to perfection. Quarterback Ben Miniter had a big day. Miniter had 205 passing yards and three touchdowns. He connected with his reliable tight end Marco Dzamba on two touchdowns. Dzamba caught touchdown passes of 15 yards and 67 yards respectively. Miniter’s most important touchdown came on his 82-yard touchdown throw to running back Ian Redzepagic. That score helped change the game. Running back Carson Fitch would put the game away in the third quarter. Fitch ran for two long touchdowns to make the score 35-14 HERD. Mountain Lakes will host the Shabazz Bulldogs in the Semifinal Round of the Group 1 Tournament next Friday.