MetLife match up with Mahwah ends dream season

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By Terry McBride, Reporter

Dec 4th. A beautiful crisp evening in the swamps of the Meadowlands pitting the 8-2 Glen Rock Panthers against the 10-1 Mahwah Thunderbirds before a crowd of appx 3000. After trading punts to start the game the Panthers started their second drive from the 8 yard line. A bad snap on a punt forced a hurried kick that set up the Thunderbirds at the Glen Rock 25.The short field and some bruising runs gave Mahwah a seven point lead with 4:21 left in the first quarter

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A second run heavy drive of 50 yards gave them a 14-0 advantage with 9:32 to go in the half. Soon after a Mahwah field-goal, an interception return for a touchdown gave them a 24 to 0 lead. The Panthers mounted a nice drive to end the half but it fizzled out near the 10 yard line and it became apparent that it was not Gl
n Rock’s day. This point was driven home when the Thunderbirds marched down the field after the second half kick off to make it 31-0.

 

Glen Rock got the passing game going a little and scored a couple of touchdowns late but it was too much to overcome. The fact is Mahwah qb James Cliento did to Glen Rock what the Panthers and Matt Schlett did to teams for most of this year, leading to a final of 38-13 and Mahwah’s first title in 34 years.

There are some positive takeaways even from a lopsided loss like this. For one although being half the size Mahwah it looked to me as if 12314390_10205208416952138_2593137652215177061_owe had a much larger
fan contingent. I saw some fellow Rockers I have not seen in 20+ years and that was cool in and of itself. I saw great sportsmanship from Glen Rock players and coaches, more than from the eventual champs. I don’t always take note of such things but our cheerleaders were truly amazing yesterday. Their spirit never slipped in the Hawthorne game and that was impressive as well, but here on the big stage they seemed flawless to this untrained eye.

 

This great football run comes to an end. From the defensive struggle in the first ever game under the lights, to the roller coaster of a semi game versus Hawthorne and everything in between the season was an awesome display of belief in the team. I can’t help but wonder how many of those younger fans in attendance will be inspired to greatness by their example. As Coach Kurz noted in an interview with The Record “It is a tough way to go out but there’s a lot to be proud of.” I wholeheartedly second that sentiment.
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Pictures By: Simon Toffell, photographer / reporter

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