HILLSBOROUGH – One of the keys to Montgomery being successful Friday night in its game with Hillsborough was to win the game up front.
“We just can’t get blown off the line of scrimmage,’’ said coach Zoran Milich before the game.
The Cougars (7-1) did more than hold their own pulling a 31-28 upset at Noonan Field. Hillsborough, 7-1, coming off a Mid-State 38 Delaware Division-clinching victory over beating Elizabeth, was outplayed on the offensive and defensive lines.
“We knew it was going to be a great game, a fun game, and a chance for us to prove we could play with the big boys and that we are a very good football team and I think we proved it tonight,’’ said Milich, whose team finished second to Linden in the Mid-State 38 Watchung Division.
“I think our guys did a great job up front,’’ added Milich. “They were challenged, we challenged them all week and they are kind of like the unsung heroes, they haven’t gotten a lot of respect, we were in our ear all week.’’
Montgomery got big defensive plays from senior linebacker Jake Bobal, who was hurt in a late-season game with Somerville last year. He also had an interception. Senior linebacker Darron Wallace had a couple of pass deflections and a sack. Sophomore lineman Jared Reinson helped on defense and offense. He also scored the go-ahead touchdown in the second half when he lined up at fullback.
“We just stuck to our own game play, go fast, everybody stepped up this week in practice, and kept going and going, we just followed our game plan, kept on our blocks, kept running our feet and all the guys did so well on both offense and defense,’’ said Reinson.
West Virginia-bound quarterback Chris Chugunov threw for two touchdowns and ran for a score. Chugunov hit senior Tyler Young for a 26-yard touchdown pass to make it 28-14 with 6:49 left. Senior Brian Flood, who had an interception, then added a 30-yard giving the Cougars a 31-14 lead with 4:25 to go.
Hillsborough, which rallied to beat Elizabeth 31-28 last week, tried to recover once more. Senior quarterback Ed Trimpert hit Scot Levonaitis on a 32-yard touchdown pass to cut the deficit to 31-21. Levonaitis followed by recovering the ensuing onside kick, Trimpert kept the momentum by Dillon Zimmerman for a 6-yard score to pull his team to 31-28 with 1:13 left. But Montgomery’s Zach Martin recovered an onside kick to seal it..
Senior back Trevor Schmidt gave the Cougars a 21-7 lead with seven minutes left in the third quarter. Hillsborough answered on Isaac Reaves’ touchdown run to make it 21-14 about five minutes later.
Montgomery led 14-7 at halftime.
Hillsborough scored first on Trimpert’s 40-yard pass to Senerichia with 5:23 left in the first quarter. Senerchia made a great one-handed catch. Senerchia caught a 41-yard pass just before the touchdown to put the Raiders in good field position.
Montgomery pulled even on a 4-yard touchdown run by Chugunov with 7:38 left in the second quarter. The Cougars then took advantage of two personal foul penalities and went ahead for good on Reinson’s 3-yard run right before the half ended.
Montgomery had one more chance to add to its lead, but Chugunov’s pass to the end zone on the final play of the half was batted away by Hillsborough defensive back Kyle Kaufman.
Staff Writer Harry Frezza: email@example.com
MONTGOMERY (7-1) 0-14-7-10-31
HILLSBOROUGH (7-1) 7-0-0-7-14-28
H: Senerchia 42 pass from Trimpert (Eilbacher kick)
M: C. Chugunov 3 run (Flood kick)
M: Reinson 3 run (Flood kick)
M: Schmidt 30 run (Flood kick)
H: Reeves 30 run Eilbacher kick)
M: Young 26 pass from Chugunov (Flood kick)
M: Flood 31 field goal
H: Levonaitis 32 pass from Trimpert (Eilbacher kick)
M: Zimmerman 6 pass from Ed Trimpert (Zach Eilbacher kick
M: Chugunov 15-36-0-173; H: Trimpert 19-40-3-286
M: Schmidt 17-84, Reinson 2-9, Colangelo 10-47, C. Chugunov 11-30; H: Trimpert 2-14, DiAlfonso 11-37, Reeves 5-30, Delrio 6-9.
M: M. Chugunov 10-110, Colangelo 1-2, Young 1-26, Clemons 2-28, Stagnitta 1-8, H: Zimmerman 6-52, Senerchia 6-124, Levonaitis 5-82, Delrio 1-21, Patrizio 1-7.