Post 11 – HS Football – Preview: Montclair

July 24, 2018

2017 in Review:  The Mounties were 12-0, winning the North Jersey Section 1 Group 5 championship by beating Union City in the finals, after beating Ridgewood and Livingston.  They scored 575 points for a 47.92 average, while allowing 149 points for a 12.42 average, including two shutouts.  Wins included Passaic Tech, Union City, and Seton Hall Prep.

Graduation Losses:  RB Daniel Webb – Army, QB Tarrin Earle – Bucknell, OL/DL Marcus Crowell – William & Mary, WR/DB DJ Williams – Milford Academy (NY) prep, DB Tysean Williams – Milford Academy (NY) prep, WR Colin Callahan – Valley Forge (Pa.) prep, DB Jaire Gray – Kean, OL/LB Finn Jensen – Union College, DE/TE Elias Ottens – Union College (NY), LB Matt Niemann – Claremont McKenna (Cal.), LB Mike Herring – New Haven, DB Danny Banks – Wesleyan for football and baseball

Offense:  Montclair runs a multiple spread and returns six starters.  At quarterback is senior Charles Murphy (6-3, 180), who started at wide receiver last year.  Seniors Josh Crawford (5-11, 205) and Willie Matthews (6-0, 210) will share the load at running back.  Crawford started at wide receiver and Matthews started on defense; when Daniel Webb was injured, Matthews had two 100-yard rushing games and Crawford one.  When a fullback is used, it will be senior Amarae Witter (5-9, 195).

The wide receivers will be senior Walter King (6-2, 175), junior Kyshawn King (6-4, 220), senior Steven Rose (5-8, 155), senior Wade Korbel (6-1, 175), and senior Max Jennings (5-11, 170).  Junior Shawn Collins (6-4, 218) will be the tight end when one is employed.

The line is very experienced with four starters returning.  Back are junior center Sebastian Fortune (6-3, 285), senior right tackle Gary Robinson (6-3, 240), senior left tackle Bo Bigelow (6-2-1/2, 275), and senior left guard Nasir Thompson-Wyatt (5-10, 220).  Bigelow started two years ago and missed much of last year being injured.  The right guard will be junior Pat Barr (6-3, 280) and reserve linemen are junior Sebastian Garda (6-2, 265), senior Matt Battle (5-11, 215), and freshman Max Koiso(6-2, 250).

Defense:  The Mounties run a 4-4 and return four starters and four others who played often.  Robinson returns at end, while Battle is back at tackle.  Collins will man the opposite end post after seeing action, while Bigelow, Fortune, Barr, Thompson-Wyatt, and Garda should all see time at tackle.

Leading the defense at inside linebacker is Matthews, one of the best defensive players in the state last year.  His partner will be either Kyshawn King or senior Terrell Santana(5-8, 215).  Witter saw quality time on the outside and Crawford will play the rover.

Walter King returns at safety and the corners have experience with Jennings and Rose.  Pushing at cornerback is senior Donivon Bell (5-9, 160) and senior Tariq Giles (6-2, 160) may get time at safety, while Walter King may also play some on the corner.  Giles is a basketball player who was not on the team last year.

Special Teams:  Murphy is back at punter and the kicker will be senior Jacob Manthy.  The return men have not been decided, having to replace Webb.


Thursday 8/30, at West Orange, 7 PM
Saturday, 9/8, Nutley at home, 1 PM
Friday, 9/14, at Washington (Massillon, Oh.), 7:30 PM
Saturday, 9/22, East Orange at home, 1 PM
Friday, 9/28, at Columbia, 7 PM
Saturday, 10/6, at Seton Hall Prep, 2 PM
Saturday, 10/13, Bloomfield at home, 1 PM
Saturday, 10/20, Livingston at home, 1 PM
Friday, 10/26, at Irvington, 7 PM

Concerns:  Depth.  The first team is strong, but they will need to create depth.  The last two freshman teams had smaller turnouts than usual and this year’s team will have roughly 55 players, when they usually have around 75.  This year’s freshman class, however, will have 35-40 players.

Recruiting:  Crawford verballed to Central Michigan.  Matthews and Murphy have offers from 1-A schools, while Robinson is getting 1-AA looks.  Walter King has at least 1-AA potential. 

In the junior class, Kyshawn King and Fortune will be major recruits, according to Head Coach John Fiore.  Collins is another junior with potential.

Coach’s Comments:  “We have great potential.  The seniors will have to grab the bull by the horns the way last year’s seniors did as leaders.  We have a target on our backs and have to be ready for everyone’s A-game.  We might be in the state finals or we might not be.” – Head Coach John Fiore

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