Caldwell 30 Cedar Grove 23
Caldwell jumped out to a 10-0 lead and never trailed, defeating Cedar Grove, 30-23. While Cedar Grove stayed within striking distance, Caldwell controlled much of the game.
First Quarter: Caldwell’s first possession began on their 22, courtesy of an interception by Harry Boland and Luke Kurzum connected with Peter Murray for a 78-yard touchdown on their first play, as Murray outran the Cedar Grove defense. Upon forcing a Cedar Grove punt, Lucas Lattimer took that punt and returned it 49 yards to the 22-yard line. Nick McNish kicked a 36-yard field goal to put the Chiefs up, 10-0. A Cedar Grove punt gave Caldwell good field position on their 46 and the Chiefs picked up three first downs for a first-and-goal on the 10.
Second Quarter: Caldwell had fourth down on the one and was stopped short of the goal line, giving Cedar Grove the ball on the 1-yard line. An ensuing punt gave Caldwell the ball on the Cedar Grove 42 and the Chiefs picked up two first downs, but a field goal attempt went wide right. The Cedar Grove offense began moving the ball and got on the board when Patch McCarthy scored from two yards out.
Third Quarter: Caldwell came out with the ball and picked up three first downs and extended their lead when Kurzum found Murray for a second touchdown, this one from 14 yards. A Cedar Grove punt gave the Chiefs the ball on their 45 and Kurzum found Pat Capozzoli on the screen for a 16-yard score. Cedar Grove answered when Antonio Lomabardi found Mike Marinelli for a 17-yard score.
Fourth Quarter: The quarter opened with Lattimer returning a punt 37 yards for a touchdown and a 30-15 lead. Caldwell looked ready for another score after a shanked punt gave them the ball on the 25. They made it to the 1-yard line, but fumbled with Cedar Grove recovering. Lombardi and Marinelli connected again for a 45-yard score with just over three minutes left. Caldwell recovered the onside kick, moved the ball within the 10 and went into the victory formation.
Summary: Caldwell came out very sharp and set the tone. They could make plays running and passing with Murray having two touchdown receptions. Lattimer also made plays and Capozzoli was able to find yardage running the ball. The defense was able to put pressure on the quarterback. They limited Cedar Grove, forced punts, and gave their offense good field position.
Cedar Grove was forced to play catchup and while they had their moments, there weren’t enough of them. When it was 10-7 at the half, they needed to make a stop in the third quarter’s opening drive. But they didn’t get it done, allowing touchdowns in the quarter’s first two drives. The score looks respectable, but this outcome could have been a lot worse.