CEDAR GROVE, NJ - The Cedar Grove Panthers fell short of a North 1 Group 1 sectional title Friday night losing to the Boonton Bombers, 34-21, at home on Friday night.
After the Panthers threw an interception in the redzone, the Bombers running back Corey Dempster took an inside handoff 84 yards for the first touchdown of the game.
The Bombers were then able to hold strong, stopping the Panthers on 4th and 1 late in the second quarter. On the very next play Jordan Decosta ran the ball up the middle for a 45-yard touchdown giving Boonton a 13-0 lead with one-minute left in the first half.
Right after kicking off to Cedar Grove, Boonton had a critical offsides penalty on 4th and 10 with the ball on their own 47-yard line. The Panthers took full advantage of the opportunity as junior quarterback Dario Bryant hooked up with George Slattery for a 32-yard touchdown pass to make it 13-7 at the end of the first half.
Dempster started the scoring for Boonton in the second half with a 61-yard run up the middle on third and long to give the Bombers a 20-7 lead with nine minutes left in the third quarter.
The Panthers were able to answer with a touchdown of their own as sophomore Patch McCarthy capped off a long drive with two big runs including a 2-yard score at the goal line now trailing Boonton 20-14.
Moving to the fourth quarter with Boonton leading 27-21, Decosta had appeared to score as he was tackled into the endzone, but the ball came out as he hit the ground and the officials ruled it a touchback giving Cedar Grove a chance to get back into the game.
However, as the Panthers were driving down the field, the Bombers would get their revenge forcing a fumble at the goal line giving them a touchback of their own. From there they were able to run the ball and kill the clock leading to their second sectional title in school history by a score of 34-21.
TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove is an online newspaper serving the Townships of Verona and Cedar Grove. TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove is accredited by the New Jersey Press Association, and is a locally owned news organization serving the community.
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