By Mike Drake
The Colonials defense turned in another stellar performance on Saturday, limiting the Chatham Cougars to only eight first downs and 171 total yards all day for a 21-3 victory, Morristown’s first win of the season.
Led by senior tackles Nick Sachs and Brian Bishop and defensive ends Brandon Blaise, a senior, and junior Anton Buchner, the defensive line dominated the winless Cougars.
Coming out of the gate, the Colonials (1-2) have allowed the fewest points in their first three games since the 2009 season.
Linebackers Freddy Ruiz and Justin Danielsen controlled the middle, and outside linebackers Joey Murphy, Danny Supple and Andres Rodriguez closed the corners. The secondary was led by Jordan Powell, who intercepted a pass, and corners Ricky Lorenzo and Leo Friedman.
On offense, the Colonials took the opening kickoff and moved the ball down the field with some nifty running by junior Jordan Powell, who finished the day with 171 yards on 22 carries. Supple, a former golden gloves boxer, also put together some fine runs with his characteristic slashing, downhill running style.
When the Colonials stalled deep into Cougars territory, they attempted a field goal by sophomore Ethan Bolson. But the snap was high and the Cougars took over.
After both offenses were held in check, the Cougars scored their only points of the day when Nick Hill kicked a 27-yard field goal.
The Colonials answered with a 65-yard drive, with Powell and Supple churning through big holes opened up by the offensive line. Powell scored on a 16-yard run around the left end, following driving blocks of Murphy and Blaise, and a devastating block by right guard Ben Hoshal.
Once Powell had an opening on the corner, no one could catch him and the Colonials took the lead, 7-3, and never let up.
Powell attributed his outstanding running to his linemen.
“I got great blocking from our line, as they sealed the edge and I took it from there for our first score,” he said.
Later, Powell electrified Morristown fans just before the half when he returned a punt 60 yards for a touchdown, reversing his field and breaking three tackles before racing up the left sideline and diving into the end zone. But a penalty called it back.
On the very next play, the Colonials’ junior quarterback, Dallas McCall, threw a perfect pass to a streaking Ricky Lorenzo up the right sideline, for a sizzling 40 yard touchdown. Once again, the officials called it back due to a penalty.
The Colonials came out for the second half on a mission. Powell intercepted a pass from Alex Sands at the Morristown 39 yard line. The Colonials’ offensive line bulldozed over the Cougars and Powell, Supple and McCall took the ball the length of field before McCall snuck it in behind center Anton Buchner to make the score 14-3.
Powell scored the final touchdown of the game, his second, on an 11-yard run with just under two minutes to play, when he took a handoff and followed outstanding blocks by Sachs and fullback Trey Gwynn, around the left end. Powell was met at the 5 yard line by a Cougar defensive back, but still blasted his way into the end zone for the game’s final score, making it 21-3.
Head Coach Chris Hull was happy with his team’s effort, but he kept things in perspective.
“It’s great to get a first victory,” he told his players. “Now let’s go get the next seven or eight!”
Next up: West Morris Central (2-1), on Oct. 5, 2013, at home, 2:30 pm.
Mike Drake is a member of the MHS Football Boosters Club and the parent of two Colonials football players. In his day, he quarterbacked the Queen of Peace High School team in North Arlington.