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Glen Rock football falls to Park Ridge, 44-14

You win some and you lose some, and the Glen Rock High School football team was dominated in this one.

Undefeated Park Ridge, a late substitute opponent, came to town Friday night and harassed the Panthers into three turnovers thumping the Panthers, 44-14 and ending their three-game winning streak.

The game closed out the “regular’’ season for the North Jersey Interscholastic Conference (NJIC). Park Ridge (5-0) will now move on to the championship tournament of the NJIC, while Glen Rock (4-2) will finish its season with two NJIC crossover games, beginning Friday, Nov. 13 at Garfield. The Panthers’ opponent for Nov. 20 is to be announced.

Park Ridge, the champions of the NJIC’s Patriot Division, did an excellent job of bottling up Glen Rock quarterback Ty Scherer, the reigning Male Athlete of the Week according to The Record. Scherer, who the week before had been The Record’s Football player of the Week, was responsible for five touchdowns in the previous game against New Providence, rushing for three touchdowns and passing for two. But Park Ridge limited him to 49 yards rushing, on 12 carries, and one touchdown. He passed for 140 yards and one touchdown, with one interception. 

Park Ridge committed a defensive pass interference on the first play from scrimmage and committed another pass interference later in the game. But the Owls’ pass coverage was tight. Senior linebacker Brendan Hughes broke up four passes, another Scherer pass was batted down at the line of scrimmage, and his last pass of the game was tipped before being intercepted. Scherer ended up completing fewer than half his passes, 10-of-23.

Park Ridge won the coin toss and deferred, allowing the Panthers to possess the ball first. Glen Rock was forced to punt and the visitors marched 69 yards in nine plays to score on a nine-yard run by Hughes. The key play in the drive was a fake punt on fourth-and-four from midfield, where the snap went to the up-back, who handed off to Hughes on a sweep around right end that went for 19 yards and put the ball at the Glen Rock 31. Three plays later, Hughes scored to give Park Ridge the lead, though the Owls’ two-point conversion failed.

Glen Rock responded on the ensuing drive, when sophomore Luke Famularo returned the kickoff 20 yards to the Panthers’ 41 and Scherer led Glen Rock on a seven-play, 59-yard drive to take their only lead of the game. The big play on the drive was a 37-yard pass to senior receiver Tommy Callahan, who made a tremendous effort to go up and grab the ball at the 8-yard line, despite tight coverage from his defender. Scherer ran the ball on the next three plays, the last a one-yard sneak for the touchdown, and Nico Hernandez-Torre’s extra point put Glen Rock up, 7-6.

But a 28-yard kickoff return by Park Ridge gave the visitors the ball on their own 49-yard line, and within three plays, they had the lead back, on a five-yard run. The two-point conversion was good this time, and Park Ridge led, 14-7. Glen Rock then went three-and-out, and Park Ridge scored on its next possession, then converted the two-point conversion to go up, 22-7.

The Panthers fought back and narrowed the gap on a 33-yard TD pass from Scherer to Callahan (three catches, 78 yards) to get within 22-14 by halftime. But a big return on the opening kickoff of the second half, with a 15-yard late hit penalty tacked on against Glen Rock, set Park Ridge up on the Panthers’ 31-yard line to begin their first possession of the second half. Three plays later, the visitors scored their fourth touchdown, and converted the two-point conversion to take a 30-14 lead, and Glen Rock never got any closer.

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