MADISON, NJ - The explanation could be that Chatham is a cool-weather football team.
But that would be a disservice to Cougar senior Peter Schelling, who performs hot through all ranges of temperature in the biggest of situations. Such was the case on Friday night when Chatham won its first game of the season, 28-21 over Madison, snapping a nine-game losing streak that dated back to last season.
Chatham (1-4) had seen its 21-7 lead in the third quarter evaporate when Madison (1-3) tied the game at 21-21 with 5:55 showing in the fourth quarter.
"We were doing so well, that I actually felt good no matter what happened there at the end," Chatham coach Dan Czepiga said. "I knew we could go down and score. The defense played great. We got the ball and scored. That's what Peter can do."
A tackle for a loss by Jorge Fuentes and Schelling's breakup of a long pass had forced Madison to punt from its 9-yard-line. Chatham took over at the Madison 35 with 1:45 left on the clock. Schelling took the handoff from quarterback Luke McAloon and raced 36 yards around left end and into the end zone for the winning TD (see the video below). Quinn Kelly kicked his fourth PAT of the game for the final point.
Schelling had picked off a pass in the second quarter, which led to his 43-yard touchdown run. He also turned a short pass from McAloon into a 69-yard touchdown play in the third quarter when Chatham took a 21-7 advantage.
Peter Schelling talks about the win over Madison
The Dodgers had taken a 7-0 lead late in the first quarter, but the Cougars tied the game on the final play of the opening period when McAloon hit Ryan Coughlin with a pass that the senior turned into a 55-yard touchdown play (see below).
The Cougars covered 75 yards in the third quarter to build its 14-point advantage. McAloon's swing pass became a 69-yard touchdown play when Schelling broke a tackle, spun clear with a 360-degree turn and hugged the sideline on the way to the end zone (see below).