The seniors took the spotlight on Senior Night on Friday as Glen Rock football put in perhaps their most complete effort of the season in beating Lodi, 35-7 at Alan Deaett Field. The victory improved the Panthers’ record to 4-0 on the season and set up a mammoth showdown next week against undefeated Rutherford.
Senior quarterback Andrew Knight turned in his finest performance of the season, passing for 232 yards and two touchdowns, and running for two more touchdowns, while senior running back Aiden Burkhardt, returning to the lineup after missing the Manchester game with an injury, ran for 103 yards and a touchdown.
Senior Tony Atme caught both of Knight’s TD passes, and had six catches for 91 yards on the night. Fellow senior Sean Stephenson had four catches for 78 yards and senior Luke Famularo had two for 36, plus a team-leading seven tackles on defense, including 2.5 tackles for loss and a pass breakup. Senior linebacker Owen Litvany had five tackles and an interception as the Panthers’ defense held Lodi to 69 yards rushing and 72 yards passing.
Knight completed his first seven passes of the game and spread the ball around, targeting seven different receivers and connecting with five of them. Glen Rock started early, receiving the opening kickoff and scoring on its first two offensive possessions.
Lodi tried an onside kick on the opening kickoff, but sophomore lineman Adrian Galvez recovered the ball for Glen Rock at the 49-yard line and the Panthers marched 51 yards in eight plays, with Knight sweeping left into the end zone from three yards out to get the scoring started. Galvez would also recover a second onside kick attempt by Lodi in the fourth quarter.
Sophomore John Iachetti, doing the kicking with regular kicker Mike Flaccavento nursing an injury, was perfect on the night, hitting all five of his extra-point attempts.
After forcing a three-and-out by Lodi on the Rams’ first series, Glen Rock made it 14-0 on a four-play, 54-yard drive that ended with Knight sneaking in from one yard out.
Burkhardt, who missed last week’s game with an injury, started slowly, not getting his first carry until the second quarter. He gained five yards on his first run, and then, on the next series, ran 74 yards on his second carry, to get himself fully into the game.
Knight and Atme barely missed connecting for a touchdown on third down on the next series, then, on fourth down, ran the same play and connected for a 17-yard touchdown to make it 21-0. The two connected again on a 24-yard strike with 4.3 seconds left in the first half to give Glen Rock a 28-0 lead entering halftime.
The victory sets up a matchup of unbeaten at Rutherford next Friday. The Bulldogs (4-0) beat Garfield 40-15 Friday.