By Mike Drake
Ethan Bolson’s 32-yard field goal was the difference Saturday for Morristown High, which stunned a strong visiting West Morris Central team with a 3-0 victory.
The Colonials’ defense put on a show for the Memorial Field capacity crowd, clad in pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
One week after West Morris ran all over Roxbury’s defending champs in a 21-10 victory, the Colonials completely shut down the Wolf Pack offense, limiting it to 154 total yards with only 35 in the air.
“This is what we expect to do every week. When we’re playing Morristown football, we expect to shut everyone down,” said Coach Chris Hull, whose team evened its 2013 record to 2-2.
The Wolf Pack managed only one deep drive into Morristown territory late in the game, before two plays sealed the victory for the Colonials.
The first came in a 3rd-and-6 situation from the Colonials’ 8 yard line. Senior Andres Rodriguez, who led the Colonials’ with 7.5 tackles, sacked quarterback Collin Sokolowski for a 4-yard loss.
On the very next play, senior cornerback Leo Friedman read Sokolowski’s eyes and intercepted his pass in the end zone, slimming any hopes for a Wolf Pack victory.
“I can’t even describe this. I can’t put into words how good this win feels,” Friedman said. “It’s great, it’s one heck of a team effort.”
Junior running back Jordan Powell, who also intercepted a pass, led the charge on the Colonials’ lone scoring drive, when he ran the ball deep into Wolf Pack territory, setting up Bolson’s field goal.
The Colonials’ defense continues to post impressive numbers. Inside linebacker Justin Danielsen, a senior, had 6.5 tackles. Powell had 6 playing safety, and senior inside linebacker Freddy Ruiz made 5.5 tackles.
Two monster hits highlighted the win. The first occurred when senior outside linebacker Joey Murphy lined up a Wolf Pack ball carrier on a swing pass in the left flat. Murphy drilled the runner with perfect timing, igniting a roar from fans. The second highlight hit came when the Colonials’ defense bottled up a Wolf Pack runner, forcing him to reverse field directly into junior defensive end Anton Buchner. The home crowd went wild.
With the game on the line late in the fourth quarter, the Colonials’ offense finally came through with a drive deep into Wolf Pack territory that ate up precious time. Senior halfback Danny Supple burst through holes opened up by Buchner at center and fellow Colonials’ linemen Nick Sachs, Brandon Blaise, Brian Bishop, Ben Hoshal and Chris Drake. Supple hit the holes with a vengeance, gaining three- to five yards at a clip.
When the drive finally stalled, Bolson, as he had done all game, punting deep into West Morris territory, forcing the Wolf Pack back to its own goal line. The Colonials ended with possession of the ball as the clock ticked off a well-earned victory.
Their next challenge: A visit to unbeaten Parsippany Hills on Oct. 12.
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.