Northern Highlands won their first sectional title in 41 years and get to face Wayne Valley in next week’s regional championship. Ethan Harris was phenomenal, rushing for 339 yards and four touchdowns on 31 carries and had three touchdowns called back for penalties.
First Quarter: Highlands began the game with the ball and moved the ball well, starting on their 22 and getting to the Woodbridge 39 in four plays. But their drive ended when Ali Lee intercepted over the middle for Woodbridge on the 3 and returned it to the 7. Highlands struck on their third possession when Harris went 64 yards for a touchdown through the middle before cutting left and running down the sideline.
Second Quarter: Highlands went 60 yards for a 25-yard field goal by Andrew Haas on a drive where a screen pass to Harris for a 35-yard touchdown was called back on a penalty. With one minute remaining, Harris went 89 yards down the left sideline for a score, putting Highlands up 16-0 – Harris had a 78-yard called back on the previous drive. After starting on their 20, Lee went through the middle and raced 80 yards to put the Barrons on the board.
Third Quarter: Woodbridge went three-and-out to start the half and Harris was off to the races with a 57-yard touchdown. Highlands extended their lead on a 9-yard run by Harris – a drive where he had his third touchdown of the night called back on a penalty.
Fourth Quarter: Highlands closed out the scoring when Enzo Arjona found Zack Saturn, who outraced the Woodbridge defense for a 53-yards touchdown.
Woodbridge – 0-7-0-0-7
Nor. Highlands- 6-10-14-7-37
NH – Harris, 64-yard run (kick blocked)
NH – Haas, 25-yard field goal
NH – Harris, 89-yard run (kick good)
W – Lee, 80-yard run (Colantuono run)
NH – Harris, 57-yard run (kick good)
NH – Harris, 9-yard run (kick good)
NH – Arjona to Saturn, 53 yards (kick good)
Northern Highlands was a better team. Harris had his 339 yards, but his line did a great job. They had seven possessions in the first half and the Highlanders were fabulous on first down. The first downs on those possessions gained 6, 9, 7, 7, 6, 10, and 89 yards. The line of left tackle Luke Barthel, left guard Jack Bonarigo, center Charlie Johnson, right guard Decklon Blache, and right tackle Sean Hochrine blocked well all night – Blache is the lone senior in that group. The Highlands defense was very stingy, as Woodbridge did not pick up a first down until late in the second quarter, courtesy of a personal foul on Northern Highlands and only picked up five during the game. They also held star running back Ali Lee to 114 yards rushing and 80 came on one carry. Subtract that and Lee was held to 34 yards.