CRANFORD, N.J. – For the second time this year, the Cougars cruised passed North Plainfield, 46-6, this time in the first round of the NJSIAA- North 2, Group 3 tournament on Friday night.

By keeping their undefeated season alive, Cranford advanced into next weekend’s state semifinals.

“We still get better every week,” Cougars head coach Erik Rosenmeier said. “We worked hard from the summer on and I like that we have a good combination of players. We have football players in a lot of places throughout the field. We play offense, we play defense, and we play special teams. Being well balanced is the biggest key.”

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Cranford’s running back Luke Christiano gave the Cougars a quick jump, as he returned the opening kick-off for 87-yards, putting them up 7-0.

“I got a good wedge from my blockers and took it to the other side of the field and outran the other kids,” Christiano said. “We had to get up first and once we go up, we are pretty good.”

North Plainfield went on to keep the pressure, but it wasn’t enough to keep the Cougars hot offensive unit out of the end zone.

Cougars quarterback Jack Schetelich tagged on 12 more points, as he entered the back of the end zone twice in the second quarter, leading North Plainfield 19-0.

“Our mentally was just start fast,” Schetelich said. “Luke’s return was a great way to open it. From there on the line was blocking great and I had easy holes in the middle.”

With just second’s left in the second quarter, the Canucks connected on a 1-yard touchdown to finally get on the board, but they still trailed 19-6 going into halftime.

Cranford started the second half right where they left off in the first, as they continued to pound the Canuck into a deeper hole.

“We always try to take what the defense gives us,” Rosenmeier said.

North Plainfield couldn’t find a break during the second half, as the Cougars scored 27 unanswered points, which led to their 46-6 opening round victory.

“Whenever we execute, we score a lot,” Schetelich said. “We are putting all that we have left into each game, its win or go home.”

The Cougars will host West Essex in the second round of the NJSIAA North 2, Group 3 tournament next weekend.