Glen Rock defeats Hawthorne 35-34, advances to final at Metlife Stadium


Photo Credit: John Scialdone

Quarterback Matt Schlett takes the snap late in the first quarter.

by Ryan Stolz, Sports Editor

Football is often called a game of inches. This cliche rang true at the most important moment in Glen Rock’s 35-34 semi-final victory over Hawthorne.

In a game that saw three lead changes during regulation, the teams went to overtime to settle the score. Hawthorne received the ball first during overtime and marched down the field in four plays, leading to a touchdown. But, on the ensuing extra point attempt, Hawthorne’s field goal kicker sent the ball just inches wide and Hawthorne took only a six point lead.

It was enough of an opening for Glen Rock.

Glen Rock appeared anxious as it got its turn to tie the game, coming out with two straight incomplete passes. Yet on third down Hawthorne had a breakdown in coverage, which allowed senior wide receiver Tommy Pulzello to break free for a 25 yard touchdown.

After tying the game, the pressure was on for Glen Rock’s special teams to kick the game winning extra point. It was an opportunity they had prepared for.

“We work on special teams more than any other team,” said senior Zack Mulcahy, who snapped the game winning point.

Nerves were running high, but Glen Rock executed to perfection as kicker and wide receiver Robert Ray (’17) kicked the extra point that sent Glen Rock supporters at Alan Deaett Field into a frenzy.

Moments before the kick, though, nerves were rattling fiercely.

“What really kept me calm was when Coach Crispino grabbed me and said it’s just like practice,” Mulcahy said.

Glen Rock had fought hard to get into overtime, as it was trailing by a touchdown with 35 seconds remaining.

“During that time I thought it could be the end,” senior captain, Vinny Neubert, said. “But, I knew there was enough time for us to come back. We never gave up.”

After a botched kickoff, and a few huge plays by junior quarterback Matt Schlett, Glen Rock found itself down at Hawthorne’s three yard line with only 13 seconds remaining.  On the very next play, Schlett found junior wide receiver Tim Ray in the end zone for his fourth touchdown reception of the day that subsequently sent the game into overtime.

After sealing the victory, Glen Rock began to look forward to its next game: a championship bout at MetLife stadium against a one-loss Mahwah team.

“It’s surreal for everyone,” Neubert said. “But once we start practicing we are going to treat it like every other week’s and not let it get to ours heads.”

Glen Rock will face off against Mahwah on Dec. 4th at 5 p.m..