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Glen Rock football season opens Friday

New-look Panthers return to gridiron against old rival Rutherford

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With the start of the new school year, the Glen Rock High School football team returns to action on Friday, when the Panthers take on rival Rutherford in their 2021 season opener at Alan Deaett Field in Glen Rock. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.

The Panthers will have a new look this season, following their 6-2 performance in the Covid-altered year of 2020. Gone is star quarterback Ty Scherer and several other key contributors from that group, whose six wins were the most by a Glen Rock team since 2015. Coach Jim Kurz entered 2021 with a lot of holes to fill, none bigger than the one created by Scherer’s graduation. Senior Mike McCarthy, who last season was the Panthers’ top receiver, has switched to quarterback and will replace Scherer.

McCarthy, who also plays outside linebacker on defense, is one of three captains for the 2021 squad, along with senior running back/linebacker Andrew Sara and two-way lineman Nolan Clark. Senior Dylan Cox will add leadership in addition to stepping into McCarthy’s spot at receiver and taking over for Scherer at safety on defense.

The 6-1, 275-pound Clark, who has verbally committed to play college football at Ivy League Brown University next year, will lead a young and inexperienced offensive line, as the only returning starter from last season. Sara, whose 575 yards rushing in 2020 (on 95 carries, with six touchdowns) were second on the team to Scherer’s 600 yards, will lead a rushing attack that also features junior running backs Hayden Yuzon and Aiden Burkhardt. Cox, and juniors Luke Famularo and newcomer Tony Atme, make up the starting receiver group.

Freshman Michael Flaccavento takes over as the Panthers’ kicker. He will have big shoes to fill. Last year, kicker Nico Hernandez-Torre was a perfect 31-for-31 on extra points, including hitting the winning point in the thrilling, season-ending, 35-34 overtime win over Rutherford.

This will be the third straight season that Glen Rock has played Rutherford at home, and the Panthers will be looking to beat the Bulldogs for the third straight time. The two schools were rivals in the North Jersey Interscholastic Conference’s Colonial Division until Glen Rock was shifted to the Liberty Division in 2020. The teams played each other in a NJIC crossover game last season. Then, Rutherford was shifted into the NJIC Liberty Division this season, making them division rivals once again with the Panthers.

Rutherford, the North Jersey Group 2 champion in 2018, and the North Jersey Group 2, Section 1 champion in 2017, opened its season last week with a 24-18 loss to Hasbrouck Heights.

Glen Rock Panthers 2021 Football schedule

Friday, Sept. 10 v. Rutherford

Saturday, Sept. 18 @ Lodi

Friday, Sept. 24 v. Pompton Lakes (Homecoming)

Friday, Oct. 1 @ Hawthorne

Friday, Oct. 8 @ New Milford

Friday, Oct. 22 v. TBD

Friday, Oct. 29 @ TBD

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