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Glen Rock football bounces back with 21-12 win over Garfield

It could be that Friday’s game will end up being the season finale for the Glen Rock High School football team. If it does, then the season will have had a happy ending, as the Panthers bounced back from last week’s loss with a come-from-behind with a 21-12 road victory over Garfield.

On a chilly night, with footing very uncertain on a muddy grass field, Glen Rock (5-2) started slowly, before rallying at the end of the first half and dominating the second half. Quarterback Ty Scherer led the way on offense, rushing for 145 yards on 14 carries, including a 60-yard touchdown, and linebackers Andrew Sara (10 tackles) and Mike McCarthy (eight tackles, a sack, and a pass broken up) led a defense that did a good job on Garfield running back Jarred George, the Paramus Catholic transfer who is expecting to play Division 1 college football next season.

Glen Rock trailed, 6-0, on a 53-yard screen pass to George in the first quarter, but the Panthers got on the board just before halftime, putting together a nine-play, 80-yard drive that ended with a five-yard touchdown run by Hayden Yuzon. The extra point by kicker Nico Hernandez-Torre gave the Panthers the lead on the next-to-last play of the half, but the Panthers needed a touchdown-saving tackle by McCarthy on the ensuing kickoff to preserve the lead. As the ballcarrier kept making his way up the sideline, McCarthy kept running hard and managed to make the tackle at the 5-yard line as time expired.

Glen Rock kicked off again to start the second half, and the defense forced Garfield (4-3) to punt. The offense then went 75 yards on the ensuing possession to extend their Panthers' lead to 14-6. The drive began with a false start penalty and ended with a trick play, when Scherer rolled right from the Boilermakers’ 6-yard line and threw a lateral pass back across the field to his left tackle, Ryan Burstiner, who ran it in for his first career touchdown, diving into the end zone to elude a tackler at the end.

The Panthers took control of the game with a defensive stand early in the fourth quarter, followed by a lightning strike on offense. Garfield put together a 10-play drive, but it stalled with an incomplete pass on fourth down at the Glen Rock 40-yard line. On the next play, Scherer kept the ball on a read option and ran around left end for a touchdown that put the Panthers up, 21-6.

Garfield did get a second touchdown to get within 21-12, but Scherer recovered the ball on the ensuing squib/onside kick, and the Panthers were able to run out the clock to secure the win.

With no state playoffs this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, the season is supposed to go one more week, and end next weekend. Glen Rock is scheduled to host Rutherford on Friday, but the Bulldogs have not played since beating Lodi, 22-0, on Halloween, so it is no sure thing that the game will be played.

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