The Game At A Glance: Undefeated Mountain Lakes won a hard fought game over previously unbeaten Butler, 14-7, in a defensive battle many thought would be a high scoring affair.
First Half Highlights: The first quarter had the two team trading punts, until Butler's third drive was turned over on downs on the Mountain Lakes 31 on the second quarter's first play.
Mountain Lakes had a nice drive on the second quarter's first possession, going nine plays to the 12 yard line. The last play of the drive was thwarted when Butler's Ed DeMarchi made a leaping interception in the end zone. Three plays later, Mountain Lakes returned the favor when John Muti intercepted and Mountain Lakes had the ball on the Butler 40. They made it count this time, when Kevin Ryan ran 26 yards around the right end for a score and the Herd had a 7-0 lead with 3:40 left in the half.
Second Half Highlights: The second half began with a classic Mountain Lakes drive that went 13 plays, 63 yards, and consumed seven minutes. They ended the drive when Jack Nagle scored from 2 yards out to make it 14-0. The drive was all running plays and featured Nagle, Ryan, and Austin DiMarco. Butler then went seven plays and scored when Pater Brand found a leaping Andrew Terzilli in the end zone for a 21 yard score, making it 14-7 with two minutes left in the quarter. The key play in the drive was a 42 yard pass from Brand to Terzilli down to the 21.
Butler kept fighting. They moved it to midfield, but were forced to punt. They had one last chance, bringing it to the Lakes 43. However, they were sacked on consecutive plays, giving them a fourth and 22 on their 45. Their last gasp pass was intercepted by Scott McWilliams on the Lakes 40 and returned for an apparent touchdown, but a penalty gave them the ball on the Butler 49 with two minutes left. After picking up a first down, the Herd ran out the clock.
Play Of The Game: The opening drive of the second half was a great ball control drive.
Game Balls: Both lines for Mountain Lakes deserve the ball for controlling the line of scrimmage. The offensive line of Will Naughton, Chris Prevoznik, Wayne Perry, Kyle Apel, Jeff Owen, plus ends Grant Davies and Tom Walsh did a great job on the second half's opening drive. Ryan and Nagle, and DiMarco played well on both sides of the ball. Actually, the whole defense deserves game balls.
For Butler, Terzilli and Brand were very good, along with DeMarchi and Ryan Lowery. Defensive lineman Jeff Adubato showed penetration and has a promising college future.
Mountain Lakes head coach Doug Wilkins - "You have to make them uncomfortable and that's what we did. We changed coverages a little and got a pass rush. Everybody's been selling this team short, that they're not last year's team, and they're not, they're a different team. We're getting it done. We told the kids last night our program is designed to win games like this. The kids found that little extra when we needed it. That first drive of the second half was our kind of drive."
Mountain Lakes FB/LB Jack Nagle - "We're told when the outside isn't working, to go to the middle. They're tough yards to get, but our line is absolutely fantastic. I couldn't ask for a better line. It makes my job a lot easier. We prepared for Butler a lot this week and switched up our defense. It's an offense we haven't faced this year and they're a good team. We spent a lot of time on them, a lot more time than usual, because we knew it was going to be a tough game and we came out on top."
Mountain Lakes QB/S Scott McWilliams - "On my interception at the end, we knew they were going to go deep because it was fourth and long. We just read it well and I had the interception. They're a good team and showed us stuff we hadn't seen. I give them a lot of respect."
Mountain Lakes lineman Will Naughton - "We knew we were a second half team. We trust our conditioning and we knew once we wore them down that there was no chance for them when we came out on the first drive of the third quarter. We had a great week of practice and came out expecting a great game and that's what we got. We condition hard all year for these games and we were rewarded for it today."
Butler head coach James Matsakis - "Defensively, we played well. We could have been better on offense. (Mountain Lakes) did a good job and did things we haven't seen and dominated the line up front. They were methodical offensively, getting those three or four yards at a pop, plus the one big run in the beginning. Our offense didn't show up. They're good, but we just didn't play our game. My hats off to them, that's why they haven't lost in a couple of years. That was a good job from their coaches and kids. Their front four handled our offensive five on the line."