CEDAR GROVE, NJ - The Cedar Grove Football Team is moving onto the North One Group One State Semifinals following a 42-0 dismantling of Emerson Boro on Friday.
“Our goal for a while now has been to play a full game, we put a full four quarters together, we’re growing up and those sophomores are becoming juniors and those juniors are becoming seniors a little bit mixed in with our senior group we got a little healthy and we played a full four quarters tonight and I’m real proud of the team to play like that,” said Head Coach Rob Gogerty.
The tone was set on the very opening play for the Panthers who were determined to pounce on the Cavaliers. A fumble on the opening kickoff set up Cedar Grove with a short field that two plays later Anthony Bilotta converted into a touchdown with a 11-yard touchdown reception. Bilotta’s TD catch was the first of three touchdown tosses for Cedar Grove, two of which came from quarterback Dario Bryant.
“We kind of stressed this whole week to get into an attack mode, I thought we were kind of playing on our heels and we’ve got to play in attack mode,” said Gogerty.
The very next drive Cedar Grove forced a turnover for Emerson Boro on an errant pass. The turnover was the second of what would be four first half turnovers for the Cavaliers. Two plays later Peter Johnson ran the ball in from four yards out for the 13-0 Panther lead.
“We got some turnovers early which helped, they set up some short fields and they took advantage,” said Gogerty.
In the second quarter Cedar Grove pulled away further utilizing their high octane pass attack. Sophomore wideout George Slattery exploited a mismatch in the Cavalier defense for two, second quarter touchdowns in the frame. He finished around 100 yards receiving on the evening.
“[Quarterback Dario Bryant] had a great game, all credit to him, he found me in the end zone and overall it was a great team win,” said George Slattery.
The Panthers continued to cruise for the remainder of the game not looking back. The group began to effectively run the ball as well and kept the tempo at their own will.
“The film session the coaches did a great job getting us ready for this game, so we put it to work,” said Slattery.
The victory for Cedar Grove shows the potential of a team that can proceed to the next level as they move towards a title run. The now 7-3 Panthers will host a section semifinal game as they await their opponent. While the team will undoubtedly be favored they continue to focus on themselves as they feel that’s the only obstacle in their way.
“I’m more worried about us it’s more about us getting focused, getting ready and playing our best game because if we’re playing our best game I think we can play with whoever,” said Gogerty.