BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – Playing a strategic and confident game, the Governor Livingston Highlanders claimed their first victory of the season on Saturday, a 28-7 win over the Hillside Comets.
One key to the Highlanders' success was establishing and maintaining an early lead over their opponents. Governor Livingston Junior Ryan Jennings told TheAlternativePress.com, “It was a hard fought game on both sides, but we just executed all of our plays on offense and played hard on defense. It was nice to get that first win.”
Hillside started off with the ball, led by captains Michael Bolen, Joe Ciroli, and Joshua Wilkins. However, GL recovered possession and, in the first three minutes of the game, GL junior Pat Mahoney scored a 40 yard touchdown. Mahoney also scored the extra point.
With one minute left in the first quarter, Junior PJ Jamalowicz scored GL’s second touchdown of the game, with another extra point scored by Pat Mahoney. Though Hillside, notably Joshua Wilkins, attempted to break through the Highlanders’ line, the first quarter ended with Governor Livingston up 14-0.
No points were scored on either side in the second quarter. Each team made several interceptions, but none of these led to significant yards gained by Hillside or GL. At halftime, the Highlanders’ Varsity Cheerleaders put on an impressive halftime cheer, and the award-winning Governor Livingston Marching Band performed selections from their fall competition show, Swan Lake.
In the third quarter, Hillside called two time outs towards the end of the quarter in an attempt to get all of their players on the same page, and it was clear that tensions were running high among the Comets’ coaching staff. However, Hillside effectively prevented the Highlanders from scoring any further touchdowns for the duration of the quarter.
The last five minutes of the fourth quarter marked Hillside’s first touchdown, on an 8 yard run from captain Joshua Wilkins. The Comets’ Johnson scored the extra point. Then, with four minutes and 49 seconds remaining in the game, GL senior Andrew Bruner achieved the Highlanders’ third touchdown. Again, Mahoney successfully kicked for the extra point. The fourth and final touchdown was scored with two minutes and ten seconds left in the game. Ryan Jennings made an 18 yard run for the touchdown, and Mahoney again scored the extra point.
The game ended in a triumphant 28-7 win for the Highlanders. Their record is now 1-3 for the season. Governor Livingston Head Coach Gary Lubisco told TheAlternativePress.com, “Our seniors provided tremendous leadership in today's team effort! I'm really proud of the way that our team has stuck together this season. This win is a culmination of many months of hard work.”