Montclair came away with an NJSIAA State Championship after beating Ridgewood 33-0 at MetLife Stadium on Saturday.
“It was a phenomenal team performance,” said Montclair head coach John Fiore. “Other than a missed extra point and my bozo call in going for two, I think they played perfect.”
Montclair opened the scoring early in the first quarter 43-yard touchdown pass from Donovan McDonald to Elijah Robinson.
Ridgewood was driving late in the first quarter when Montclair cornerback, Chanse Riley, came up with an interception to keep the Maroons from getting on the scoreboard.
Maroons’ running back Jamal Locke broke a nice run down the right sideline in the second quarter. But just before Locke was dragged out of bounds, the ball came loose and sat, in play, next to the sideline and was recovered by Montclair.
Robinson hit Will Kline on a slant across the middle for another Montclair touchdown and the Bulldogs took a 20-0 lead into the half.
The lead Montclair established was just too much for Ridgewood to overcome.
“We always have a strong defense,” said Robinson. “Our defensive staff always manages to scrape up what we have and put a great defense on the field. On defense we’ve always been taught to swarm. We don’t stop until the whistle is blown.”
The Maroons are excellent when it comes to running the ball, controlling the clock and finishing teams off, but they were ill prepared to mount a comeback from 20-points behind.
It was as if Ridgewood head coach Chuck Johnson, who was scarcely heard from on the sideline, was of the mind that he would rather lose by sticking to the run than roll the dice by airing it out.
But hey, Johnson is an outstanding coach, with 234 career wins, and the Maroons may have just been overmatched.
Honorable Mention: Leaving Shaquan Oliver's effort out would be careless. Oliver didn't appear to be a big part of the game plan at first, but he dragged multiple defenders across the goal line early on and Montclair stuck with him from then on. There were at least three runs that Oliver seemed to be dead to rights after short gains, but the stout runner just wouldn't go down.
"I think he's a little mad that I stole a couple of his touchdowns, but we do what we've got to do," said Elijah Robinson.