Sometimes, winning isn’t everything.
On a cool, pleasant September evening, with a full moon rising over the western end of Alan Deaett Field, the Glen Rock High School football team improved its record to 2-0 on the season with a 20-7 victory over Becton Regional Friday in the Panthers’ home opener. But the win came at a cost.
Senior running back/linebackers Cole Kazanjian and Hayden Yuzon both suffered potential season-ending injuries in the game, casting a pall over what otherwise would have been a satisfying win. Kazanjian left in the second quarter with a knee injury and Yuzon, Glen Rock’s top running threat, left in the fourth with a broken arm.
The injuries didn’t stop the Panthers from winning the game, but they could have an effect later in the season when the competition gets tougher. Yuzon is Glen Rock’s leading rusher, with 174 yards and three touchdowns in two games, including 82 yards and one TD on Friday. Kazanjian was an important blocker and receiver as the team’s H-back, as well as a solid tackler at inside linebacker.
The loss of Yuzon, in particular, will force Coach Jim Kurz to make some adjustments. After using two quarterbacks in the first two games, Kurz now likely will move one of the quarterbacks, James Stewart, to running back to replace Yuzon. Stewart took over at running back Friday after Yuzon left the game.
Things started well enough against Becton (0-2), as Glen Rock jumped out to a 13-0 lead in the first quarter. Receiving the opening kickoff, the Panthers looked a little sluggish until quarterback Andrew Knight hit receiver Luke Famularo in stride up the right sideline for a 58-yard touchdown. On Glen Rock’s next possession, Knight capped a 60-yard drive with a 15-yard touchdown run on a read option keeper.
The Glen Rock defense frustrated Becton the entire game, but late in the third quarter, the Wildcats managed to get on the board when their defense gang-tackled Knight on a run and linebacker Brandon Osorio ripped the ball away and ran it back 45 yards for a touchdown.
The Panthers recomposed themselves, however, and responded with a nine-play, 65-yard drive that ended with Yuzon sweeping left for a 24-yard touchdown.
The good feelings would soon turn sour, though. After the defense forced a three-and-out, Yuzon was injured on Glen Rock’s next offensive play.
The season continues next Friday when Glen Rock travels to Manchester (0-3). Manchester got lights and a new artificial surface on their football field this year.