DOVER Last year, Boonton qualified for its first playoff appearance since 2004.
The 2015 Bombers are trying to show that last year’s team did not overachieve, and was not a fluke.
With the Delaware Wing-T offense chewing up yards and clock, Boonton defeated Dover, 38-3, on Friday night.
In his five years as head coach of Boonton, coach Bryan Gallagher’s team has improved each season. Beginning 2-8 in 2011, Boonton went 2-8 in 2012, 5-5 in 2013, 7-4 last year, and now 3-0 so far in 2015.
“When the Wing-T is right, you have a lot of guys contributing,” Gallagher said. “If you look at our schedule, with Mountain Lakes and North Warren coming up, it is still one week at a time.”
Boonton had scored 88 points in its first two victories, and continued to run with precision Friday night led by quarterback Gage Cabalar. Cabalar rushed for 149 yards on 20 carries, including a 34-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Back T.J. Green ran for 41 yards on eight carries while scoring a third touchdown in the third quarter on a 24-yard pass from Cabalar.
Dover had an opportunity to take a lead on the game’s first series as senior back Dwayne Brown broke off a 56-yard run on the first play from scrimmage carrying the ball down to the Boonton 18. The Bombers’ defense then stiffened as three runs by Brown gained eight yards but came up short of a first down. On fourth-and-two, Dover attempted to run the Wildcat but Brown was stopped short of the first down by Boonton’s Quinn Sweeney.
Boonton then went to work on offense, led by Cabalar and Green. Beginning on their 10-yard line, the Bombers went 90 yards on 19 plays — 18 of them on the ground — and held possession for 9:48. Cabalar carried the ball 11 times for 57 yards while Green capped the drive with a 7-yard run around left tackle to give Boonton a 7-0 lead in the second quarter.
“That is the way to pound out a long drive,” Gallagher said. “Nothing flashy, but a great effort. That is the way to continue hammering the nail.”
The Bombers were just getting warmed up. Penalties backed Dover up against its own goal line, and Boonton capitalized when the snap from center went over Tigers quarterback Adrian Vargas’ head. Dover’s Francisco Arenas fell on the ball in the end zone for a safety.
On Boonton’s next possession, Cabalar ran 34 yards up the middle behind a block from guard Anthony Marino for a 17-0 lead. Cabalar finished the first half with 102 yards on 13 carries.
“We are doing what we have to do on offense,” Green said. “Our goal is to be 1-0 at the end of every week, so we will see how we go from here.”
Brown led Dover in the first half rushing for 80 yards on nine carries and intercepting Cabalar in the end zone on the final play of the second quarter. Dan Castro led the Dover defense with 10 tackles.
Boonton’s offensive line, led by Marino and center Connor Davis, continued to open up large holes for Boonton ball carriers in the second half. Five different players carried the ball for the Bombers on an 84-yard, 14-play drive. Cabalar led the drive with six carries for 47 yards including a 12-yard run on fourth down to keep the drive alive. Green again capped the drive, going over the goal line on a 9-yard run.
Cabalar showed he could strike with his arm as well as his legs late in the third quarter. After Sean McKeown intercepted Vargas, giving Boonton the ball at the Dover 45-yard line, Cabalar combined with Green on a 24-yard pass out of the backfield to give Boonton a 31-3 lead at the end of the third quarter.
“We have a lot of guys contributing,” Cabalar said. “We have our linemen out there working hard, staying on their blocks getting their assignments right and our backs are just running the ball hard behind them. We have grown a lot since last year. We are finishing games better this year. We have a bit of a foot on the throat mentality. Tonight’s win is great and hopefully it is another win on the road to MetLife.”
B-T.J. Green 7 run (Amaro Anderson kick)
B-Safety Francisco Arenas tackled in end zone.
B-Gage Cabalar 34 run (Cabalar pass to Kyle Waters)
D-Cristian Martinez 27 FG
B-Green 9 run (kick failed)
B-Green 24 pass from Cabalar (Cabalar run)
B-Julien Kempf 7 run (Anderson kick)
Team records: Boonton 3-0, Dover 1-2