In a battle of contrasting offensive styles, it was Montgomery’s new-fangled offense that reigned.
Cougars quarterback Chris Chuganov was 12-for-14 in the second half, and Trevor Schmidt’s two-yard touchdown run with 2:07 left capped a furious rally that netted Montgomery a 25-24 win over Watchung Hills on Friday night.
Chuganov threw for a score and ran for one as well, helping the Cougars improve to 4-2.
“The tempo was good tonight,” Chuganov said. “In the second half we were rolling.”
Watchung Hills junior running back Ryan Cunningham rushed for 150 yards and three scores. The Warriors successfully executed a single-wing offense in the first half, but were limited to just 70 second-half yards.
“They’re a good team, they kind of figured out what we were doing,” Watchung coach Marc Crisafi said. “It came down to a couple of missed opportunities on both sides of the ball.”
Trailing by five with only 5:50 left, Chuganov guided Montgomery’s offense quickly into Warriors territory. The junior quarterback was 5-for-5 on the game-winning drive, and Schmidt ran in from two yards out to give Montgomery a 25-24 lead.
The Cougars defense held Watchung Hills on downs, cementing the win.
The fast-paced Montgomery offense stalled itself in the first, committing five first-half penalties — three of which came on one second-quarter possession.
Watchung used a single-wing offense to run all over Montgomery in the first. Cunningham’s two second-quarter scores, including a 65-yarder, helped the Warriors build an 18-3 advantage.
“It’s tough to duplicate their offense in practice,” Montgomery coach Zoran Millich said. “It was rough going there for a while, but we hung in there.”
Trailing for the whole game until the final two minutes, the Cougars offense grew frustrated, as two second-half turnovers threatened to derail the comeback. Chuganov’s interception helped set up Cunningham’s third touchdown that put Watchung Hills up 24-13 with 1:47 in the third.
“We shot ourselves in the foot there,” Millich said.
But Chuganov shook it off, capping the ensuing drive with a 14-yard touchdown strike on fourth-and-3 to Jabari Clemons, that cut the Hills lead to 24-19.
“Chris was phenomenal,” Millich said. “That was just a great play. I’m glad that he is on our side.”
|Watchung Hills (4-2)||6||12||0||6||—||24|
WH–Gomes 10 run (kick blocked)
M–Flood 38 FG
WH– Cunningham 65 run (run failed)
WH– Cunningham 2 run (pass failed)
M– Chuganov 3 run (Flood kick)
WH– Cunningham 5 run (pass failed)
M– Flood 14 pass to Clemons (run failed)
M– Schmidt 2 run (pass failed)