Post 979 – North Hunterdon 21 Montgomery 14

A blocked punt by North Hunterdon’s Alex Uryniak in the third quarter led to the winning touchdown pass from Luke Martini to Derek Vaddis, giving North Hunterdon a 21-14 victory over Montgomery. The winning score broke a 14-14 tie at that point. 

  • This comes from the Youtube broadcast from the MIRE – Montgomery Internet Radio Experience. 

First Quarter: After a Montgomery punt, North Hunterdon drove down the field behind the running of Alex Uryniak, going as far as the Montgomery 12, but their fourth down pass fell incomplete and the Lions turned the ball over on downs. Montgomery moved quickly down the field behind a 37-yard run by Chris Eubanks to the 38, going inside before cutting to the right, going down the sideline. After an incomplete pass, quarterback Michael Schmelzer went on what looked like a read option, keeping the ball, finding a hole, and sprinting left for a 38-yard touchdown. 

Second Quarter: North Hunterdon followed by going 80 yards on 13 plays, consuming over six minutes. Uryniak carried the ball eleven times and two completed passes by Luke Martini was a good complement, as Uryniak scored from one yard out to put the Lions ahead, 7-6. Montgomery fumbled the handoff exchange on their next play from scrimmage with Michael Schroeck recovering for North Hunterdon on the 24-yard line of Montgomery.  On fourth-and-10, Martini bought time and found Tyler Anderson for 12 yards to the 12. Two carries by Uryniak gave the Lions first-and-goal from the 1 and he scored on the following play. After an exchange of punts, Montgomery had the ball on their 46 with just under three minutes left. After picking up a couple of first downs, Schmelzer found Antonino Spera for 31 yards to the 1-yard line and Gavin Guidette scored on the following play. The two-point pass to Elhadji Diara succeeded and the score was knotted at 14-14 with 23 seconds left. 

Third Quarter: After a North Hunterdon punt, Montgomery started on their 38. A 15-yard run by Eubanks gave them a first down, but the Cougars were forced to punt. Uryniak closed quickly and blocked the punt, which went out of bounds at the Montgomery 28. Two plays later, Martini found Derek Vaddis, who caught the ball in the end zone over a defender for the touchdown and a 21-14 lead. On the following drive, Schmelzer connected with Ethan McManus for 29 yards to the North Hunterdon 38. There may have been a penalty – the broadcast wasn’t clear about what happened – and the Cougars had a first down on the 23. After a sack by Andrew Schenkel lost 15 yards for Montgomery, the Cougars turned the ball over on downs. 

Fourth Quarter: North Hunterdon had another thirteen-play drive, this spanning two quarters. With fourth-and-six on the 36, Martini connected with Vaddis on the 23 and he went through defenders to the 15, but fumbled with Montgomery recovering on their 7-yard line. The Cougars moved the ball on a 43-yard pass from Schmelzer to Matthew D’Avino to the 32, which put them in good shape. But pressure from lineman Greg Rayl caused an intentional grounding and a loss of 17 yards. Another sack by Hunter Vos and Aaron Yarnell lost another six yards for Montgomery, forcing them to punt. A North Hunterdon punt gave Montgomery one last chance on their 29, but they produced four incomplete passes, which allowed North Hunterdon to run out the clock. 

Comments: This was a well-played game between two good football teams. There were very few penalties in the game – I counted four – between the two teams. These are two teams that can get lost in the shuffle because of their location from where I am in Bergen County, but both are capable of being sectional semifinalists or better come playoff time. 

The star for North Hunterdon was Uryniak, who excelled in all three phases of the game. Besides the blocked punt, he played top defense and rushed for 153 yards on 34 carries. The regular running back, Kente Edwards, was limited with an injury. 

Schmelzer turned in a good performance for Montgomery, running and passing. He hit big passes on each of their two drives after North Hunterdon went up for good. A junior, he has the chance to be a very good quarterback the rest of this year and next year.  

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