WARREN, NJ - The Watchung Hills Wolverines Junior Pee Wees advanced to the conference championships when they beat the A & M Redbirds in the playoffs on Sunday.
The Wolverines and the Redbirds met twice in the regular season and although the Wolverines won both contests the games have all been close and exciting. So this playoff game was no surprise that it would be a close game between two good football teams. The Wolverines won this game 7 – 6 and advance to the championship game next weekend.
This game was about great defense on both sides of the ball. The Wolverines defense has been putting pressure on quarterbacks all season. But for this game it was stopping the run up the middle and the hard running of the Redbirds. This is what the Wolverines prepared for and what helped them with the game. The Redbirds threatened first but solid defense plays from Michael Carroll, Logan Weiss, Stevie Prisco the Wolverines stopped the Redbirds. Liam Morris forced a fumble and had the recovery. The Redbirds did score first early in the secondquarter, but the Redbird fumbled the hand off and their extra point attempt was unsuccessful. A play that would wind up costing them the game. At the end of the first half the Redbirds were winning 6 – 0.
The second half continued to be a good battle as the weather started to worsen with a light drizzle. The Wolverines offense would offer up some big runs from Austin Kolakowski, Morris and Jake Zotollo despite an aggressive Redbird defense, but the Wolverines running game would start to tire the Redbirds. The Wolverines offensive line would start making holes behind blocking from Alex Kruszczynski, Connor Comitini, Prisco, Carroll and Ceaser Brown. The Wolverines defense started to tighten up and would not let the Redbirds even close to the end zone. The defense forced two more fumbles as the weather continued but big tackles from Kaisan Edmonds, Damien Moccia. Evan Collazo, Danny Attanasio. Zotollo, Ian Hulbert, kept the Redbirds offense silent in the second half. Then late in the 4th quarter with about 4 minutes remaining and being down 6 – 0 the Wolverines offense got the spark it needed behind a huge run by Morris then went 32 yards to the Redbirds 2 yard line. Shortly after Zotollo drove in a short but tough dive into the end zone to tie the game up at 6 – 6. With the extra point being the needed to break the tie, Coach Attanasio sent in the play. That is when the Wolverines QB, Aidan Grochowski would take a bootleg to the right and scamper into the end zone to give the Wolverines the lead 7 – 6. The Wolverines defense would stop the Redbirds again. With seconds to go on the clock the Redbirds attempted a quick screen that was quickly thwarted but Kolakowski to end the game. The Wolverines are headed to the conference championships on Sunday, Oct. 27. Congrats and good luck Wolverines.