By Paige Carlin
A touchdown in the final minutes of the boys varsity football game allowed Hunterdon Central to edge past Westfield with a slim 7–6 victory at Kehler Stadium on Nov. 8.
With limited time on the clock, Hunterdon Central made a series of strong offensive plays that resulted in the game’s only touchdown. With the score tied 6–6 and 1:50 left in the game, Hunterdon attempted to take the lead by kicking an extra point.
However, a penalty was called on the offense due to an illegal shift forcing Hunterdon to re-kick the ball. The fate of the game was determined when Hunterdon ultimately succeeded in scoring the extra point bringing the final score to 7–6.
Although the loss was heartbreaking, West- field set the pace early in the first quarter, as- sisted by a number of successful carries by junior Jack Curry.
Fourth and goal with 21 yards to go, West- field settled on a field goal attempt, allowing sophomore kicker Michael Moriarty to put Westfield on the scoreboard with a 3–0 lead.
Westfield’s defense stepped up late in the first quarter, continuing into the second and third quarters. The team was able to to shut down Hunterdon Central’s offensive plays with strong defense for a majority of the game.
Defensive highlights from the game included an interception by senior Matthew Catanzaro late in the first quarter, a blocked punt by senior Jackson Simcox in the second and sophomore Owen Kessler’s recovery of a Hunterdon Central fumble late in the third. However, Westfield struggled to capitalize on these opportunities.
Said Catanzaro: “Some of our strengths on defense were stopping their runs and forcing them to pass the ball which we controlled well. Our defense played one of its best games all year.”
Westfield laid on the offensive pressure early in the fourth quarter, hoping to make it to the end zone, but an incomplete pass intended for senior Sean Elliott prompted another field goal attempt. With a solid kick by Moriarty from the 29-yard-line, Westfield advanced with a 6–0 lead.
“It was great to have some points on the board but field goals aren’t enough to win games. We have a week of preparation, and we’re planning to improve for next week’s game,” said Moriarty.
The team plans to be well prepared for its next game, which will take place tomorrow at Kehler Stadium. Simcox said, “We want to come out fast and kill Bridgewater’s motivation from the get-go.”