September 7, 2018
Old Tappan broke open a 13-13 tie in the fourth quarter to beat Ridgewood, 27-13. Their scores were a 6-yard run by Johnny Lohrer and a 1-yard run by Nico Orecchio with just under two minutes left.
After a scoreless first quarter, Ridgewood went on a drive of nearly six minutes, but stalled at midfield with Old Tappan taking over just under six minutes left in the half. The Golden Knights moved the ball and got on the board when Johnny Lohrer crashed in from two yards out with two minutes left. Three first downs were picked up along the way, two of them on Drew Dippolito-to-Lohrer passes.
The ensuing kickoff gave Ridgewood a good opportunity as the squib was a line drive caught by the Ridgewood receiver and a penalty being tacked on by Old Tappan, giving the Maroons the ball on the OT 45. A couple of first downs gave Ridgewood the ball on the 19, getting on the board on a 29-yard James Hogan field goal to make it 7-3.
Hogan booted another field goal, this one 30 yards to make it a 7-6 game. Old Tappan was struggling with their running game, but received help as Dippolito found John Caracciolo down the right sideline for a 36-yard completion to the 32, a beautiful catch by Caracciolo. Dippolito found Lohrer down the middle for a score on the following play to extend the lead, but Ridgewood blocked the extra point. The Maroons knotted the score when William Mollihan found Tommy Bourque wide open for a 54-yard touchdown.
Early in the fourth, Lohrer scored to put OT ahead, 20-13 and the Golden Knights consumed time on their final drive when Orecchio scored from the 1-yard line.
The big difference in the game was Lohrer. He caught passes, gained yards running the ball, and was in on many tackles. Whenever a play was needed, he made it and appears to have taken a big step forward in his senior season. While their running game struggled at times, the Knights were able to pass the ball more effectively than Ridgewood.
Ridgewood is a good team, but penalties hurt them at inopportune times, which is not like them. However, it was good to see Will Cardew run the ball after tearing his ACL last year, breaking a couple of nice runs. I hope he has more of them.
Bonus coverage: Since it was a 6:00 game, I drove to see the last few minutes of Hackensack’s big win over Passaic Tech. It has been some time since the Comets have done that – it has been twelve consecutive losses to Passaic Tech since 2009 (courtesy of Gridiron New Jersey) plus two playoff losses in 1998 and 2001. This looks like a different Comet team and they have some juice to them, along with what could be a very good running back in junior Tymere Robinson. They will be a playoff team and how far they go is still far off in the future. One good thing about the evening was a good crowd, one of the best crowds I have seen there in some time.