VERNON, NJ - It was a football game Chatham was supposed to win and, thanks to some big plays made by Nick Zack, Justin Hayes and Timmy Adams, the Cougars defeated Vernon, 20-0, on Friday night.
"We dodged a little bit of a bullet," Chatham coach Jason Izsa said. "My hat's off to coach (Chuck) Tepper and the Vernon team. Those guys did a fantastic job. They came out ready to play, that's for sure. They hit us with everything they had."
Chatham (5-1) scored 13 points in the opening quarter, but only led 13-0 late in the third period with Vernon (1-5) threatening to score. On fourth down, Hayes deflected a pass thrown into the end zone and Zack swooped in to grab it out of the air for the interception (see video below).
"He has that instinct in getting to the football," Izsa said of Zack. "He just does it. We talk about it in practice and he gets there. That was all hustle by him."
Zack returned the ball to the nine and Chatham, led by Adams at quarterback and Hayes in the backfield, covered 91 yards on 13 plays. The march started with 2:19 left in the third quarter and culminated with a 14-yard touchdown burst by Adams (see video below) with 8:25 left in the fourth quarter.
The drive was ignited by a pass from Adams to Hayes, which the senior tailback turned into a 30-yard gain. Hayes opened the fourth quarter with a 15-yard burst and also broke runs of 10 and 16 yards in the march.
After that, the defense held off Vernon, with Robbie Moskowitz snuffing out a drive with an interception, a key sack by Jahanzab Khan and a sliding interception at the Chatham 4-yard line by Hayes. After his interception, Hayes broke a 64-yard run to help Chatham close out the game.
Chatham had scored on its first possession of the game when the defense gave it great field position at the Vernon 29. Quarterback Alex Sands hit Moskowitz with a 12-yard pass to set up a 24-yard field goal by Adams.
On the ensuing kick, Mike O'Connell forced a Viking fumble and sophomore Christian Cuttita recovered for the Cougars. That led to a 27-yard field goal by Adams.
Chatham boosted its lead to 13-0 when Sands threw to Chris Bredahl for a 15-yard TD. Bredahl pulled in the pass at the six and barreled his way past two Vernon defenders to score (see video below). Adams added the PAT with 1:51 left in the first period.
Nick Zack picks off a pass in the end zone with help from Justin Hayes in the third quarter for Chatham
Nick Zack, Justin Hayes and Timmy Adams talk about some of the big plays in the game.
Chris Bredahl catches this pass from Alex Sands and then runs through two Vernon players to score this touchdown
Timmy Adams scores on this 14-yard run with 8:25 left to cap a 91-yard march for Chatham.