Glen Rock falls in playoff football game against Mahwah


Glen Rock Football players wanted to forget about Friday night after losing a tough game to the Mahwah Thunderbirds in the first round of the state sectional playoffs.

Players of Glen Rock came into Friday night with nerves and excitement hoping to get their revenge on Mahwah after losing last year’s championship game to them. However, on Friday, Nov. 11, Glen Rock lost to the Thunderbirds once again, this time by a score of 35-10.

The team came in with confidence after a huge win at Harrison the week before on Nov. 4. Junior Receivers Drew Famularo and Dominic Patania talked about the confidence coming into Friday night’s game.

“After the win against Harrison, we felt like we are in a good spot, and we feel that we are really coming together as a team,” Famularo said.

“We all knew what was at stake. We were all just focused on one goal,” Patania said.

It was clear from the start that Mahwah was not a team to be reckoned with, as they came into the game with a record of 9-1 and was the second seed. Glen Rock was the clear underdog with a 5-3 record and the seventh seed. Even with Glen Rock’s ability to win on the road, not many people expected them to win this game.

“They run some weird formations and plays that we have not seen all year,” Famularo said.

The team looked excited and ready for kickoff.

The game started out well for the Panthers. On Mahwah’s first drive and second play, the Thunderbirds fumbled the ball, and it was recovered by team captain Matt Schlett. This momentum was quickly silenced after Schlett threw an interception a few plays later. Mahwah went on to score three straight touchdowns for a score of 21-0 at the end of the first half.

Glen Rock came out strong in the beginning of the second half. Quarterback Matt Schlett threw a long touchdown to receiver Robert Ray, putting the team on the board. This was followed by an interception near the end zone by senior team captain Jack Cinquegrana.

The Glen Rock crowd was back into the game. However, it was cut short after Mahwah stopped them quickly and scored two more touchdowns.

After this season, the team will be graduating nine seniors Matt Schlett (QB, 7, LB), Tim Ray ( WR,10, DB), Robert Ray (WR,13, DB, K), Jack Cinquegrana (WR, 22, DB), Ryan Dooner (RB, 44, LB), Liam Cappello (OL, 54, DL), Jack Schrettner (OL, 57, DL), Mike Presenti (OL, 62, DL),  and Andrew Perez (OL, 70, DL).   

Head coach Jim Kurz, who is now finishing his eighth season and heading into his ninth season with the Panthers, discussed the season.

“Luckily for me, I was able to win my last game in 1996, but I can still see the pain of losing. In my last game as a junior, we had a tough loss, and the emotion in the locker room after that game was tough,” Kurz said.

Kurz won a state championship his senior year. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case for this year’s graduating seniors.

“Our goal each year is to make the playoffs and we did that. Obviously, we want to win a playoff game, but we ran into a great team in Mahwah,” Kurz said.

Kurz talked to the senior players after the game.

“This is going to happen in life,” Kurz told the players. “These tough times are going to shape you into the person you are going to be.”

Kurz is very proud of this year’s team as expectations were lower than what they were last season.

“There were outside people who didn’t have faith in this group, and they shut that out and proved the public wrong,” Kurz said.

Even though Glen Rock didn’t win Friday’s game, Kurz called the season a success. The team achieved a goal not many people expected them to achieve by making the playoffs.