EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ — Tarrin Earle wasn’t ending his legendary football career at Montclair High School without a bang.
In his final game as the Mounties’ quarterback, Earle erupted for 303 passing yards and a pair of touchdowns and rushed for another to carry Montclair in a 35-14 victory over Union City in the NJSIAA North 1, Group 5 final at MetLife Stadium.
Behind Earle’s electric arm, undefeated Montclair and its potent offense didn’t waste any time staking its claim as the premier team in the section. Daniel Webb returned the opening kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown, and the Mounties never looked back. Striking Union City with its elite aerial attack, Earle threw TD passes to Collin Callahan and Charles Murphy while completing 17 of his 24 attempts and owning a nearly-perfect passer rating of 141.
“It was amazing,” Bucknell-bound Earle told TAPinto.net of winning a state title. “I knew I had CC [Collin Callahan] and Josh Crawford, and all of those players to really focus on, and they played a great game … They’re the best receiving corps in the state, I say it all the time.”
Using its stellar group of receivers as its bread and butter, the Mounties exposed Union City’s pass coverage all night long and were constantly able to wreck havoc with the deep ball. Callahan hauled in 136 receiving yards on seven receptions, including a 16-yard TD in the first quarter which gave the Mounties a 28-7 lead entering halftime. On the opposite side of the line of scrimmage, Murphy brought in 72 yards in the air, including a 30-yard TD bomb in the third quarter.
Earle finished arguable the greatest single season ever by a Montclair quarterback with 2,587 passing yards — 6,239 for his career — and Callahan capped of his senior campaign with a team-high 745 yards. Murphy’s 72-clip put him at 635 for the season.
“Tarrin Earle is a Division I quarterback and we have Division I wideouts,” Montclair head coach John Fiore said. “It’s funny, because you look at this offense and Tarrin Earle owns every single season and career passing record, and Danny Webb owns the career touchdown record, career rushing record, third single season last year with 2,028 yards. It’s been unbelievable.”
In a senior class that is rich with Division I talent, Daniel Webb was having a stellar performance before injury cut his night short. The Army commit gathered a total of 148 all-purpose yards, the crux of which came on his 92-yard opening kickoff TD.
Webb also added a conventional rushing TD, when he capped off the Mounties’ second drive of the game with a two-yard blast route into the endzone. Webb rushed for a total of 1,369 yards for the season and 4,931 in his illustrious career.
“Me and DJ Williams were like fighting over the ball a little bit, but DJ said ‘You got it’,” Webb explained of his 92-yard kickoff return TD. “I saw one lane, and that was that.”
“This is my second state championship, but the second time that I was a big part of it,” he added. “Honestly, I’m just speechless and emotional.”
After Webb put Montclair on the board just 20 seconds into the game, the Mounties rode high off the momentum and scored on their first three drives of the game. Earle’s 11-yard keeper TD was the finishing result of an opening drive that saw the quarterback connect with Callahan on a 50-yard pass and Williams on a 29-yarder to approach the endzone.
The Mounties’ lethal passing game was displayed again on the second drive, which concluded with Webb’s two-yard TD — the 81st and final of his high school career. Earle completed four-of-four passes on the drive, including a 15-yard pass to Williams which placed the Mounties into the redzone.
After Union City got on the board with a second quarter touchdown, Montclair responded with Earle connecting with Callahan on a big 29-yard pass, then finding Callahan again in the endzone for an 11-yard TD.
Webb’s high school career ended a bit prematurely with injury in the third quarter, which is when Montclair turned to its passing game yet again. On one drive alone, Earle threw 24, 20, and 25-yard passes, the later being a TD to Murphy.
“When we lose Danny and we lose Willie [Matthews], we’re going to do what our strength is,” Fiore explained.
The program’s seventh-ever state championship is the final touch on what will go down as one of the greatest seasons in school history. According to Earle, it may have been the best.
“How we dominated teams all year and the undefeated season, breaking all the records,” Earle said, “is why I believe [this is one of the greatest Montclair teams of all time].”