RANDOLPH, NJ - There were eight seconds left on the clock when quarterback Timmy Adams took the snap, scrambled away from the rush and threw to Robbie Moskowitz for the game-winning touchdown on the final play as Chatham stunned Randolph, 25-22, in its 2015 football opener Friday night.
The game already is being tabbed as the biggest Chatham High football victory in the gridiron history of both the borough and the township.
"I was the slant guy and I initially got jammed and I thought it was over then, but then Timmy scrambled and I just found a hole and he got it to me," Moskowitz said. "I got wrecked and I loved all of it. It was awesome. This just sets the tone for the whole season."
Adams, a junior, was pressed into duty at quarterback when senior QB Alex Sands injured his ankle just 74 seconds into the second half.
"Alex went down and Timmy stepped up," Moskowitz said.
"This has to be the best win in Chatham history, not taking anything away from Mike Judge, not taking anything away from (Don) Dayon or (Don) Morgenroth or anybody, or even going back to the township and borough days, this has to be the biggest win ever," Chatham head coach Jason Izsa said. "This is unbelievable coming up here against a top-class organization like Randolph."
Chatham's winning drive began at its own 49 with 3:29 left in the fourth quarter. On fourth down and four at the Randolph 36, Adams threw down field for senior tight end Ryan Barnett, who made a leaping grab and held on as he hit the ground.
On the next play, Adams kept and bolted outside for a seven-yard gain to the three. Then came the scramble and the TD catch by Moskowitz.
"I still really can't believe it happened," Adams said. "I knew somebody was going to be open and my line gave me enough time. And on the play before the catch by Barnett. I knew he was going to come down with it. I knew we were going to win this game. I just knew it."
Adams' last-second heroics were set up with a little more than six minutes left in the game when what would have been a 34-yard touchdown run by Adams was nullified by a holding call.
"I was mad, but I knew that our defense was going to stop them, we were going to get it back and drive it right down their throats," Adams said.
Randolph had taken a 14-0 lead in the game before Chatham put together a 38-yard drive that cut it to 14-6. Moskowitz pulled in an 18-yard pass from Sands to key the march and then capped it with a 12-yard TD reception from Sands with 2:04 left in the half.
Randolph had a chance to pad its lead before the break, but Pat Cosgrove recovered a Rams fumble with 30 seconds left and the Cougars ran out the clock.
After Sands left the game with his injury, Randolph pushed its lead to 22-6 with 8:16 showing in the third quarter before Chatham came back.
The running of Matt Nestler and Adams fueled a 64-yard march that ended with Adams' five-yard touchdown pass to Barnett. The TD was Adams' first pass attempt of the game.
Nestler's 15-yard burst preceded a 4-yard touchdown run by Adams, who scored on the first play of the fourth quarter. Adams followed by kicking the extra point to slice the deficit to 22-19 with 11:54 to play.
"When I grew up in Long Valley, Randolph was the premier football program in North Jersey," Bill Librera, Chatham assistant principal, said. "We represented ourselves so well last year (24-21 loss at home to Randolph). This is a testament to the players and the coaching staff. Stick to the plan, next man up, and play it to the end.
"I'm not an historian, but to beat a Randolph, you'd be hard-pressed to find a bigger win. They deserve it. I think that anybody who follows Chatham football and talks about this being a different team, this validates that."
The winning play started with eight seconds left. Timmy Adams scrambled and hit Robbie Moskowitz in the end zone for the touchdown in video below.
This run by Adams put the ball at the 3-yard line with just eight seconds left. Adams then threw to Robbie Moskowitz to win it as time expired.
This clutch fourth-down catch by Ryan Barnett on a pass from Timmy Adams put the ball at the Randolph 10 with 25 seconds to play.