Mount Olive 41 Morris Knolls 13
Mount Olive scored 21 unanswered points in the last two quarters to pull away from Morris Knolls for a 41-13 win and a trip to the North Jersey Section 1 semi-finals at Northern Highlands. The Marauders featured four touchdowns by Hunter Perez; three running and one passing plus two running touchdowns from quarterback Jake Clemente.
First Quarter: Mount Olive drove down the field and were on the board when Hunter Perez scored from a yard out for a 6-0 lead.
Second Quarter: Knolls threatened behind a 22-yard run by Joey DelleMonache to the Mount Olive 37. But the Golden Eagles were pushed back, including a Mount Olive sack by Riley Camoia. Mount Olive had good field position on the Knolls 48 later in the quarter and methodically drove with Perez scoring a 3-yard touchdown with 56 seconds left. Knolls moved quickly down the field, but Cooper Anderson intercepted to end the half.
Third Quarter: There was more action in this quarter than the first two combined. Ryan Wong returned the second half kickoff to the Knolls 46 and picked up 28 yards when he took a pitch to the 24. Tyler Brookes then took it for a score on the reverse option pitch on the following play. Mount Olive wasted no time after recovering Knolls’ onside kick on the 50. Perez went 24 and 7 yards on two consecutive carries and Jake Clemente scoried on a 19-yard keeper on the following play. Knolls came right back, scoring on a 40-yard run by DelleMonache, making it 20-13 with 7:36 left in the quarter. Mount Olive came right back and Anderson scored on a 5-yard run. Cole Malatesta fumbled for Knolls with Mount Olive recovering on the Knolls 23 and The Marauders took advantage with Perez passing to Sean Harris for a 36-yard score on the halfback-option pass.
Fourth Quarter: Clemente closed the scoring on a 3-yard run, a score set up by a long Perez run where he dragged tacklers along with him.
Summary: Mount Olive had too much Perez, with 157 yards rushing (courtesy of nj.com’s Ryan Koob) and his hand in four touchdowns. Once they pulled away, it was very difficult for Knolls to mount a comeback.