BOONTON – Boonton continued its winning ways on Friday night, with a 43-0 victory over Morris Catholic.
Four first-quarter touchdowns gave Boonton a 29-0 lead, ensuring victory and a likely NJSIAA North 1 Group I home game. It’s been 11 years since the Bombers started a season 6-1.
“We were able to put them away early tonight, but there is still a lot of work in front of us, and we have to remain focused,” Bombers coach Bryan Gallagher said. “We can’t be looking at the playoffs when we still have games ahead of us. When we started the season, nobody’s goal was to be 6-1. We have to keep on plugging. Our only thoughts are on next week against Morristown-Beard, and I think we have enough experienced players on this team that understand that you have to be focused on only the next thing in front of them.”
Boonton quarterback Gage Cabalar again led Boonton’s offense, running for two touchdowns and passing for a third. Cabalar scored on a 43-yard run from scrimmage, a 50-yard punt return, and a 53-yard pass to Amaro Anderson in the first half.
Cabalar came into the game averaging 7.1 yards per carry and 134.7 rushing yards per game. His two touchdown runs gave him 13 this fall.
Playing only in the first half, Cabalar rushed for 116 yards on five carries, giving him 924 total yards. The 50-yard punt return gave Cabalar 1,004 all purpose yards for the season.
Said Cabalar, “It does not mean anything, as long as we keep winning, that is all that matters.”
Cabalar wasted little time putting Boonton on the scoreboard. Beginning at the 38-yard line, Cabalar galloped 46 yards on the second play of the game, breaking two tackles before being dragged down at the Morris Catholic 16-yard line. Two runs by Cabalar gained 12 yards to set up a 4-yard run by T.J. Green to give the Bombers a 7-0 lead less than two minutes into the game.
Boonton’s secondary zeroed in on Morris Catholic quarterback Zach Poreman, as Amaro Anderson intercepted a pass at the Boonton 26 early in the first quarter. Cabalar gained 15 yards on his first carry, and then capped the drive four plays later with a 43-yard run to give Boonton a 13-0 lead. Cabalar dove over on the two-point conversion to give Boonton a 15-0 lead.
Green scored two touchdowns Friday. Anderson intercepted two passes and was on the receiving end of Cabalar’s 53-yard strike. Anderson also converted all five of his extra-point attempts.
“Amaro is a player we have expected a lot from this season, and we have been waiting for him to have that breakout game like he had tonight,” Gallagher said. “Until tonight he has not had the kind of big plays this year, but he has been a great team guy. He keeps coming to work, and I was really happy with the plays he made tonight.”
Cabalar sent a message that opposing teams are going to have to respect his arm as well as his legs. He found Anderson behind two Morris Catholic defenders for his second touchdown pass of the season. Anderson only caught one pass through the first six games, but he showed speed and agility as he blew by the Morris Catholic secondary to give Boonton a 29-0 first quarter lead.
Special teams played a big part in Friday night’s victory.
In addition to Cabalar’s punt return, Kyle Waters blocked a punt attempt by Morris Catholic’s Ben Levitt that Quinn Sweeney scooped up and rumbled 53 yards for a touchdown.
“Our team executed on both sides of the ball tonight,” Anderson said. “This is a great feeling for this team, but we still have to take it one game at a time.”
Morris Catholic 0 0 0 0—0
Boonton 29 14 0 0—43
B — TJ Green 4 run (Amaro Anderson kick)
B — Gage Cabalar 43 run (Gage Cabalar run)
B — TJ Green 28 run (Amaro Anderson kick)
B — Amaro Anderson 53 pass from Gage Cabalar (Amaro Anderson kick)
B — Quinn Sweeney 53 yard return of blocked punt (Amaro Anderson kick)
B — Gage Cabalar 50 punt return (Amaro Anderson kick)
Team Records Boonton 6-1, Morris Catholic 2-5