KENILWORTH, NJ – Under balmy November Friday night lights, the Brearley Bears looked to continue their winning ways, stay undefeated and capture the Mid-State 38 Valley Division Football title. They were able to accomplish all three last night on Senior Night, with the weight of it on his shoulders, David Brearley High School quarterback Sebastian Montesdeoca decided to take matters into his own hands.
Leading by two with less than two minutes to play and facing a Fourth-and-Goal from the New Providence 5-yard line, Montesdeoca hit wide receiver Evan Collier on a roll-out to his left for a touchdown and an eight point lead.
The Pioneers, who never led, had one final opportunity to try and tie the game, but a last second pass towards the end zone from quarterback Jack Barletta fell incomplete, leading to a 27-19 victory for David Brearley High School.
New Providence trailed by as many as 14 points in the game, but Barletta took the Pioneers on his back to come lead a second double-digit comeback in two weeks, within two points of a tie.
The sophomore quarterback connected with his junior wide receiver (and cousin) Mike Barletta for three touchdown passes, but the Pioneers’ last ditch efforts came up empty in New Providence’s first loss of the year.
Brearley jumped out to a 14-0 first half lead with the help of three New Providence turnovers. Montesdeoca scored the first on his own with a 1-yard dive into the end zone.
Less than two minutes later, following a Jack Barletta interception, Montesdeoca hit Richard Ermeus from 36-yards out to put the Bears up two scores, after Ermeus had intercepted the ball to get it back.
Jack Barletta responded with his first scoring pass of the game, a 29-yard hook up to Mike Barletta, to cut the deficit in half. However, just seconds later, Anthony Primavera ran for a 43-yard touchdown to send Brearley into the locker room up 21-6.
The Barletta-Barletta scoring connection showed up twice in the second half, including a 20-yard reception to cut Brearley’s advantage to two points, before Montesdeoca’s final touchdown sealed the victory.
On the night, for defense for Brearley, Ermeus and Montesdeoca had two major interceptions, while Montesdeoca ended the game with 170 total yards passing and two touchdown throws. Collier ended the game with 79 receiving yards with one touchdown and Ermeus with 36 receiving yards and one touchdown. Montesdeoca had 93 yards rushing with one touchdown and Primavera had 70 yards rushing with one touchdown. Nick Arcieri had three extra points.
Official state tournament pairings will be announced by the NJSIAA office on Sunday or Monday.
Editor's Note: TAPinto.net Sports Editor Tim LeCras contributed to this story.