MONTVILLE, NJ - Chatham was having trouble holding onto the wet football early in its game against Montville played through a downpour on Friday night. So, on third down and 40 yards to go for a first down, offensive coordinator Steve Trivino called for a quick kick by quarterback Timmy Adams.
The quick kick became a turning point for Chatham since it led to a safety and then a touchdown, sending Chatham to a 29-6 victory.
"It was a great call because we were backed up really far on third down, so it was definitely the right call," Adams said. "I got a good bounce. I kicked it over the kid's head because their safety was playing in pretty close and then I got a fortunate roll. Our defense came in and just absolutely crushed them at the goal line to get that safety, which was huge, because then we got the ball back again."
After Adams' quick kick rolled to the two-yard-line, senior linebacker Nick Zack broke through and made the tackle to give the Cougars the safety and a 2-0 lead with 4:11 left in the first quarter.
"That's an old Caldwell trick from back in the day," Chatham head coach Jason Izsa said of the quick kick call by Trivino. "It was an excellent call. Putting the ball down there and getting the safety was tremendous. On a dry night that ball might have rolled into the end zone. It worked in our favor."
Montville (0-4) then punted to Chatham after the safety, and Adams took advantage by racing outside for a 19-yard touchdown run for an 8-0 lead with 1:01 showing in the first quarter. Adams ran for 128 yards on 10 carries, scored two TDs and kicked three extra points.
"Our line was opening up big holes and all I had to do was get through them and do whatever I could do to get more yards," Adams said.
Senior back Justin Hayes, who ended with 89 yards on 10 carries, bolted for a 20-yard touchdown run in the second quarter, sending the Cougars into the break with a 15-0 advantage.
Montville came out for the third quarter fired up and scored on an 11-yard keeper by Graham Jespersen, slicing the Mustangs' deficit to, 15-6. But Adams answered with a 42-yard run that set up his own 8-yard touchdown sprint with 25 seconds left in the third period. Adams' PAT made it 22-6.
"We got a little complacent and they started finding a zone and kept hitting it," Izsa said. "With the rain, we had to go to our ground attack more. The offensive line did a great job. They were just moving guys around and we were controlling the ball up front. Tonight's weather, the only ones happy were the ducks."
Blocks by Zack and Mike Kellstrom sprang Matt Nestler for a 46-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter to seal it.
Chatham's defense played well again with safety Brian Brady and corners Hayes and Robbie Moskowitz keeping the Montville receivers bottled up.
Pat Cosgrove picked off a pass in the first half for the Cougars, defensive tackle Graham LeMon batted down a pass attempt and linebacker Dylan Ott forced a hurried pass on a near sack.
Through four games, the Cougars (3-1) already have matched their win total for all of last season, with Morris Hills next up on Saturday during "Cougar Weekend."
Timmy Adams gets outside to score first touchdown of the game on a 19-yard burst
Justin Hayes finishes his 20-yard touchdown run for Chatham.
Timmy Adams carries around right end for eight yards and his second touchdown of the game in the third quarter.