DENVILLE, NJ – What a difference a week makes. After suffering a 30-point loss to Mount Olive in its home opener seven days ago, Morris Knolls returned to its home turf to defeat Roxbury, 31-14, on Sat., Oct 17.
Patrick Kaiser initiated the scoring with a 25-yard touchdown run for the Golden Eagles in the first quarter. Morris Knolls never looked back from that point on, earning points in all four quarters of the game.
After shutting out the Gaels in the first quarter, the Golden Eagles added to their lead in the second with a 74-yard touchdown run by Kevin Dolan.
Kaiser carried the ball into the endzone again in the third quarter with a 66-yard run, and Sean Beller closed the quarter with a 10-yard touchdown run.
Nick Carmagnola capped Morris Knolls’s scoring with a 31-yard field goal in the fourth quarter. Carmagnola also went four-for-four in extra points made.
Both of Roxbury’s touchdowns came from passes thrown by quarterback Nick Mastandrea to Lucas Spitzer, with Luke Schabel nailing the extra points for the Gaels.
“We came a lot more prepared this week. We were mentally and physically ready coming in with a new quarterback,” explained Morris Knolls linebacker, Chris Valardi, when asked about the team’s stark turnaround in performance. Early in last week’s game against Mount Olive, Morris Knolls’s starting quarterback, Patrick Sinegra, suffered a season-ending shoulder injury.
“We trust him,” Valardi continued, referencing replacement quarterback and team co-captain Sean Beller. “He’s a great team player. We knew what we had to do today, and we took care of business.”
Beller and Kaiser echoed Valardi’s sentiments, adding that the team came to today’s game with a bit of a chip on its shoulder to vindicate Sinegra.
“We played for Pat Sinegra. We all banded together and dedicated the rest of the season to him. Every play, we think about him. We’re playing every snap for him. We’re going hard every play for him,” Valadi, Beller and Kaiser shared.
The Golden Eagles (2-1) will face undefeated West Morris (3-0) on the road, Fri., Oct. 23, at 7:30 p.m.
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