MONTCLAIR, NJ - Montclair High School head football coach John Fiore knew that his Mounties were just a little more talented than Saturday’s opponent, Livingston.
But did Fiore expect a lopsided 56-0 whitewash victory?
“Am I shocked that we did that?” Fiore said. “Not really. We’ve done that about five or six times since I’ve been the head coach (in seven years). But am I surprised? Yes.”
The Mounties scored 29 points in the first quarter and put up 43 by halftime. The Mounties scored a touchdown on the second snap of the day, a 53-yard run by slot back Robert Nicholas. They scored on a 51-yard run by quarterback Tarrin Earle on a busted play. They engineered a 13-play, 96-yard drive that was capped by a 4-yard touchdown run by Donnell Walker on a fake field goal.
If it could be done on the football field, the Mounties did it Saturday on their home opener.
“This team went out there knowing that they could have a game like they had today,” Fiore said. “But they made it happen. “
For the second straight week, Earle was flawless as quarterback, completing seven passes to six different receivers for 194 yards and two touchdowns.
Tight end Cameron Lipton-Martinez caught two passes for 49 yards. He was the lone Mountie player with more than one reception.
Wide receivers D.J. Williams (56 yards) and Nicholas (60 yards) caught long TD passes from Earle.
Nicholas had a great all-around game with the touchdown run, the scoring reception and an interception.
Daniel Webb only had to carry the ball six times, but collected 78 yards and a touchdown.
The backbreaking play was the broken play that Livingston seemed to stop, but Earle turned it into his 51-yard scoring jaunt.
“The hole just opened up where the running back usually goes,” Fiore said. “It was a great job by Earle to score the touchdown. It was definitely our day.”
The Mounties took their 43-point lead at halftime and increased it in the second half, thanks to the running prowess of backup quarterback Charles Murphy, who had scoring runs of 67 and 34 yards respectively.
“We were just looking to run the ball there and run out the clock,” Fiore said. “Murphy made some great runs. We really knew that if we could get our kids in space, we should be in good shape. We have a lot of talented kids, a Division I running back, a Division I tight end, a Division I wide receiver. Skill-wise, we’re just as good as the teams in the Big Six.”
Fiore is referring to parochial powers Bergen Catholic, Paramus Catholic, St. Joseph of Montvale, Don Bosco Prep, St. Peter’s Prep and DePaul Catholic.
“I don’t want to jinx it, but it’s a nice thing to have,” Fiore said. “I’m impressed, because in the past, we would have played down to the inferior teams. We were looking to fill a spot in our schedule. No one wanted to play us. Fortunately, Livingston said that they would. Our starters did a great job. Our backups did a great job. I’m very proud of that.”
The Mounties have this week off, then return to action Friday, Sept. 30 in Union City against the Soaring Eagles, a regular nemesis in the NJSIAA Group V state playoffs.
“We’re going to enjoy the bye week,” Fiore said. “We gave the kids a few days off, then we’ll bring them back to get ready.”
They have the look like they’re already ready.
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