BASKING RIDGE, NJ - Watchung Hills rallied from an 11-point deficit with three unanswered touchdowns in the second half to defeat Ridge, 31-21, in the regular-season finale for both teams Friday night. The Warriors have won four straight games and are 4-5 on the season.
“It’s a great finish to the regular season,” said WHRHS head coach Rich Seubert. “The team deserves this as the work they have put in is paying off. I’m proud of how we fought back after being down 21-10 in the second half. Guys stepped up and made some big plays tonight. We as a program are looking forward to the playoffs and excited to see who we play next week.”
In the second half, freshman quarterback Chad Martini hit Mike Assante with a 63 yard touchdown pass, a 41-yard completion from Martini to Lavern Ronoh sustained the momentum and set up Caleb Parker to run one in and Jeff Poggi scored on a Martini 12 yard pass.
“Congratulations to Coach Seubert, his staff, and all of our Warrior football players on a terrific road victory at Ridge tonight!” said WHRHS Director of Athletics Chris Van Vliet. “Good luck in the state playoffs Warriors!”
Brian Puccio hit a 40 yard field goal early in the game for Watchung Hills and made all of the PATs. Before the half, Kevin Badger scored on a 39 yard run.
Ridge took a 7-3 lead on Devin Stieglitz' 5-yard TD run on the opening play of the second quarter and Nolan Hughes' PAT. After the Warriors briefly regained the lead, 10-7, Ridge came back to grab a 14-10 advantage on a TD pass from Wesley Hudkins to Andrew Lusardi before halftime.
The Red Devils extended their lead to 21-10 when Nolan Haddad scored early in the third period on a 10-yard TD run before the Warriors scored 21 unanswered points.
Both teams are now 4-5 on the season and await confirmation of playoff status with first-round Section 2, Group 5 playoff games either next Friday or Saturday.