Glen Rock football wins second straight
Panthers knock off previously undefeated rival Pompton Lakes, 14-10
The football rivalry between Glen Rock and Pompton Lakes goes back a long way, back to the earliest days of junior football. And it’s never exactly been a friendly one. That’s why the Glen Rock players hooted and hollered so loudly, and why the kids in the student section at Alan Deaett Field spilled out onto the field to embrace their schoolmates Friday night, following their classmates’ 14-10 victory over their bitter rivals, pushing Glen Rock above .500 and handing the Cardinals their first loss of the season.
Senior quarterback Mike McCarthy threw for a touchdown and ran for another, and the defense sacked the Pompton Lakes quarterback seven times as Glen Rock (2-1) won its second straight game. Junior two-way lineman John Scotto had three sacks, and junior defensive end Aiden Burkhardt had two sacks for Glen Rock, in addition to catching a touchdown pass on offense.
Pompton Lakes (2-1) had outscored its first two opponents, Butler and New Milford, 67-7, and the Cardinals were thought to be the favorite in the matchup against Glen Rock. The game originally was supposed to be Glen Rock’s Homecoming, but that was changed when the school district announced Homecoming would be moved to October 22 against an as yet unnamed opponent.
McCarthy, growing into the role of quarterback after playing receiver last season, ran for 17 yards on his three carries and completed his first pass, for 20 yards to fellow senior captain Andrew Sara, on Glen Rock’s opening drive, before it eventually stalled. McCarthy would go on to run for 154 yards on 22 carries, as the Panthers amassed 202 yards rushing in the game.
Pompton Lakes did take the lead, on their third possession, when junior Andy Sanchez hit a 29-yard field goal to put the Cardinals up, 3-0. On their next possession, following a deflected pass that was intercepted, Pompton Lakes went up, 10-0, on a 19-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Jay Patel to senior receiver Jesus Aponte, with 5:34 remaining in the first half.
But on the ensuing Glen Rock possession, the Panthers got on the board when McCarthy hit Burkhardt on a seam pass up the middle and Burkhardt ran it in from 41 yards out to make it 10-7, entering halftime. Pompton Lakes had the opening possession of the second half, but on the second play of the possession, Patel’s pass to 6-3 receiver Dylan Benway was intercepted by junior defensive back James Stewart. Glen Rock turned the ball over three plays later, but the defense forced a three-and-out and the Panthers’ offense responded with an 11-play, 85-yard drive that ended with McCarthy sweeping around left end, behind a lead block from Sara, to put Glen Rock ahead, 14-10.
The ensuing kickoff, by senior Will Casey, skipped past a Pompton Lakes returner before being covered by Pompton at the 1-yard line, and the defense began to step up from there. An unsportsmanlike penalty, a nine-yard run by Patel, and a five-yard sideline penalty against Glen Rock got Pompton Lakes started. But senior captain Nolan Clark — who will be playing college football for Ivy League Brown University next season — sacked the quarterback on the next play. Then, on the play after that, an unsportsmanlike penalty against the Cardinals moved them back to their own 12-yard line.
After Glen Rock went three-and-out, Pompton Lakes looked like they would put a drive together. But after getting to first-and-goal from the Panthers’ 8-yard line, the Glen Rock defense stiffened. A bad snap turned into a seven-yard loss, and an incomplete pass, a sack, and another incomplete pass gave Glen Rock the ball back.
Pompton got the ball back one more time, but an 11-yard sack, on third down, by Burkhardt, forced a punt, which was downed by Pompton at the Glen Rock 5-yard line. The running of McCarthy and Sara (14 rushes, 58 yards) helped Glen Rock advance the ball and kill the clock until time ran out on the Cardinals