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Glen Rock High School loses football opener to Rutherford, 19-14

Panthers lose their third straight season opener to the Bulldogs

Glen Rock High School quarterback Dom Patania runs with the ball against Rutherford on Friday, September 8, 2017. Photo by Simon Toffell.

The Glen Rock High School football team still has some kinks to work out, as evidenced by Friday’s season-opening 19-14 loss to Rutherford at Tryon Field in Rutherford.

“It hurts, but what I told the team right after the game (was), two years ago we lost to Rutherford first game of the season; last year we lost to Rutherford the first game of the season,’’ Panthers coach Jim Kurz told Banana Tree News. “It wasn’t the end of the world; we were able to get ourselves back on track, and now it’s a test for these guys to get back on track. We were able to do it the last two years, and let’s see what we have in us to get back on track this year.’’

Glen Rock trailed 7-0 when senior defensive end Michael Quinn returned an interception for the tying touchdown. Then, down 13-7 in the third quarter, the Panthers took the lead on a 26-yard touchdown run by junior running back Seve Bilbao and the subsequent extra point by Justin Douenias.

But a turnover put the host Bulldogs inside the 10-yard line and they would capitalize to go ahead, 19-14 in the final moments of the third period. Glen Rock could never catch up.

“They’re a good team and they’re well-coached,’’ Kurz said of Rutherford. “Ultimately, we made too many mistakes. Hopefully we can get rid of that and chalk it up to first-game stuff, and bounce back next week.’’

Glen Rock High School football player Matt Sapoff rises to attempt to block a kick against Rutherford on Friday, September 8, 2017. Photo by Simon Toffell.

Kurz said despite the loss, the team did some good things, and the coaching staff learned some things that will help going forward. Quarterback Dom Patania, starting his first varsity game, spent much of the game being chased around by the Rutherford pass rush.

“He was thrown into the fire pretty quickly against, again, a very good team, and a very well-coached team,’’ Kurz said of Patania. “(Rutherford) did some things that hurt us up front… they got the better of us. He was under a lot of pressure for a lot of the game, and that’s no easy task.’’

The Panthers’ next game will be Friday, Sept. 15, when they open their home schedule against Manchester.

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