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Glen Rock football battered by Hawthorne, 37-3

Panthers' winning streak ends at two games; injuries beginning to pile up

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All the good feelings Glen Rock football had following a big win over hated rival Pompton Lakes a week earlier disappeared in the cool night air Friday night in Hawthorne as the Panthers suffered an ugly, 37-3 loss to the neighboring Hawthorne Bears.

The loss stopped Glen Rock’s winning streak at two games and may turn out to have been more costly than that. The Panthers not only lost on the scoreboard but appeared to suffer some injuries to key players as well.

Already down two starting linebackers because of injury, Glen Rock lost another defensive starter Friday when junior defensive end/tight end Aiden Burkhardt left the game after making a 20-yard catch on the Panthers’ second-to-last offensive possession. Burkhardt had had a monster night on the defensive side of the ball, with four solo tackles — one for a loss — and a forced fumble.

The Panthers fell to 2-2 on the season and 1-2 in the Liberty Division of the North Jersey Interscholastic Conference (NJIC). They are fourth in the division standings, with one division game left, next Friday at winless New Milford (0-4, 0-3 in the division). After that, Glen Rock has two crossover games remaining, against a pair of as yet unnamed NJIC Colonial Division teams, on Oct. 22 and 29. The Panthers are also believed to be attempting to schedule a non-league game for their bye weekend of Oct. 15-16.

The Panthers remain in the hunt for a North Jersey, Group 2 playoff spot, but they are going to need to collect a couple more wins, in all likelihood. As banged up as they are at the moment, that may be a tall task.

Prior to Friday’s loss, Glen Rock was ranked ninth among Group 2 schools in North Jersey in the power rankings, according to the website gridironnewjersey.com. The top 16 teams in North Jersey will make the playoffs.

Against Hawthorne (3-1, 2-1), Glen Rock hung in there for the first half, taking the lead on a 34-yard field goal by freshman kicker Michael Flaccavento. Hawthorne equalized with a field goal of their own on the ensuing Bears possession. But after the next Glen Rock possession was cut short by an interception, Hawthorne took over at the Glen Rock 32-yard line and took the lead on a 3-yard run by senior Ashton Navarrete. The extra point missed, and Hawthorne led 9-3 at halftime.

The Bears got the ball to start the second half and went 65 yards in three plays — they opened the drive with a 55-yard run by quarterback Troy Eckert and closed it with a one-yard run by Jayden Shwed — to make it 16-3. On its next possession, Glen Rock had a third-and-2 on the Hawthorne 49-yard line, but could not convert the first down.

Two possessions later, with Hawthorne facing a third-and-8 at its own 30-yard line, senior fullback Eddy O’Hagan ripped off a 60-yard run to give the Bears first-and-goal at the 10. Three plays later, Hawthorne scored on a five-yard pass from Eckert to Michael Palmer to make it 23-3 and put the Bears in command.

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