MENDHAM, NJ - The 2017 Chatham football team showed to still be a work in progress during a 23-7 scrimmage loss to Mendham on Thursday. Chatham opens its season at home, Saturday, Sept. 9 vs. Barringer.
"We did some good things and not so good things," Chatham coach Jason Izsa said. "The offense did a nice job running the ball. Andrew (DesMarais) made some - I was going to say rookie mistakes - it's his second time playing in a real game for a while. He just needs to catch up with the speed of the game. He'll get it."
DesMarais, the senior quarterback, is playing football for the first time since his freshman year. The Cougars received a scare near the end of the first half when senior standout Max Schelling hit the turf hard and had to leave the game. Up to that point, Schelling had provided a big target at tight end for DesMarais.
Despite giving up 17 points in the first half, including a touchdown with 30 seconds left before the break, the Cougars held their own on defense. Over the first two quarters, Sean Goodman had two tackles and four assists; Max Schelling was in on five tackles and Christian Cuttita had three tackles and two assists.
"The defense did well," Izsa said. "The first half, we really didn't give up any big plays. Once we sharpen up, watch some film and make corrections, we're going to be okay."
The Cougars put together a drive to score their only points in the third period behind quarterback Ryan Lonergan. The junior completed three straight passes in the march and followed with two key runs - one for a first down and the second to put the ball at the five-yard line (see video below). Jake Wingate bolted through a big hole to score on a 5-yard run (see video below). Kristian Roos kicked the extra point.
COUGAR NOTES: Chris Lawshe has joined the Chatham staff and will help coach the quarterbacks. Lawshe played quarterback for Caldwell High and then Shippensburg University ... Joe Sullivan, who left the team briefly, is back to help coach the offense for the Cougars ... Peter Schelling stripped the ball loose and Luke Agnew recovered the fumble for the Cougars in the third quarter ... Punter Kristian Roos scooped up a bounced snap on a punt attempt and ran around right end for a first down.
Ryan Lonergan's run to the 5-yard-line sets up the ensuing TD run by Jake Wingate
Jake Wingate runs through a big hole to score a TD for Chatham vs. Mendham Thursday
Christian Cuttita pulls in pass from Ryan Lonergan during third-quarter drive for Chatham