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Former longtime Caldwell assistant coach Steve Trivino, who also has had recent stints as the head coach at both Dayton and Newark Academy, is a nice addition to the Chatham football coaching staff this season serving as Jason Isza's offensive coordinator. (Photo by Doug Allen)

Chatham Can Feel Better About Things
After Snapping 23-Game Losing Streak
…A Look Ahead To Busy Morris County Football Weekend

By Sean Reilly
For sidelinechatter.com

One of the longest bus rides in the Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference is no doubt the trip from Chatham to High Point on a Friday night. 

Chatham, however, was eager to make the trek last week to Wantage because the team knew there was a good chance that the end result might give the program its first win in a very long time. 

Sure enough, coach Jason Isza's team won, 33-0. It ended a 23-game losing streak that dated to Nov. 11, 2011, when the Cougars beat Bernards, 10-7, in the first round of the NJSIAA North Jersey, Section 2, Group 2 playoffs. 

No one seemed to mind the trip back to Chatham last Friday, when the team was also greeted by fans upon its return from Sussex County.

"I think everyone started to relax a little with under two minutes to go," Isza said. "It felt nice taking off the headset with about a minute left. I heard the players cheering during that time and it hit me. Those last few minutes felt like an eternity." 

Chatham had been inching closer toward its return to the win column. The schedule is more favorable, since the Cougars are now in the American Division of the NJAC, after taking their lumps the past two years against the biggest schools in Morris County in the National Division of the league. 

But aside from that, Chatham also has some talented players on its roster. It showed immediately in the season opener, when Isza's team battled National Division power Randolph to the finish before falling, 24-21. A loss to Sparta followed in Week 2, but the team was brimming with confidence heading into its date at High Point, which was also 0-2. 

And now, Chatham will go into its home game on Thursday against Montville (0-3) as a favorite for the second consecutive week. 

"They are definitely a little looser, but not in a cocky way," Isza said. "I think they all breathe a little easier now, and no one ever really spoke of the streak. I believe they are just focused on Montville and what they could bring to the table." 

Isza also likes the contributions he's been getting from the veteran players on his team.

"Alex Sands threw for close to 200 yards against Randolph and then ran for 117 against High Point," the coach said. "We have had some good running games from our backs. Matt Nestler and Justin Hayes have had a few good games on the ground. I feel we have a good receiving corps with Brian Brady, Chris Bredahl, Timmy Adams and Robbie Moskowitz. On defense, Ryan Barnett, Pat Caufield and Brian Weber have been playing very well." 

The team has also received a boost on its coaching staff this season with the addition of Steve Trivino as the offensive coordinator. A former, longtime assistant on Ken Trimmer's staff at Caldwell, Trivino has also had stints as the head coach at both Newark Academy and Dayton of Springfield.

PARSIPPANY OFF TO GOOD START

A team sporting a record of 2-1 after three weeks may not seem like that big of a deal. But when it happens at Parsippany, it's major news, and also serves as a possible springboard toward future success.

The Red Hawks, under first-year coach Jason Hurta, opened with a 20-7 win over Wallkill Valley, followed with a 24-0 defeat at Hackettstown and then bounced back by beating Newton, 18-12 at home last Saturday,

That victory put Parsippany at 2-1 for the first time since 2000, when it lost its first game to Watchung Hills before beating Mount Olive and Weequahic to go above .500. But even then, the team didn't win another game and finished the year 2-8.

The Red Hawks have had four 0-10, two 1-9 and four 2-8 campaigns since, with the 2002 and 2005 teams finishing 4-6.

Hurta is also the program's fourth coach in four years, and the sixth in the past nine seasons.

So needless to say, there's no way to go but up. And the promising beginning the 2014 campaign is a nice launching point.

Malik Francis had two rushing touchdowns on last week's win, while Andrew Massefski has generated yardage in the backfield. Quarterback Dan Campbell has shown poise for the Red Hawks, whose defense has been fortified by a group that includes linebacker Aarin Feliz. 

SIDELINE CHATTER MORRIS COUNTY FOOTBALL TOP 10

 

1-Delbarton          (3-0)       Last week: 1

 

2-Roxbury            (3-0)       LW: 2

 

3-Randolph          (3-0)       LW: 3

 

4-Mountain Lakes   (3-0)    LW: 4 

 

5-Parsippany Hills   (2-1)      LW: 5

 

6-Morristown         (2-1)       LW: NR

 

7-Madison            (2-1)        LW: 8

 

8-Hanover Park      (3-0)       LW: 10

 

9-Mendham          (1-2)       LW: 6

 

10-Morris Hills      (2-1)        LW: 7

 

 

MORRIS COUNTY FOOTBALL SCHEDULE AND SELECTIONS

 

(X-denotes choice)

 

THURSDAY, OCT. 2

 

Morris Hills at   X-Parsippany Hills, 3 

 

Boonton at X-Mountain Lakes, 4

 

Montville at X-Chatham, 4

 

X-Madison at Dover, 7

 

Parsippany at X-Hanover Park, 7

 

Hopatcong at X-Jefferson, 7

 

Morristown at X-Roxbury, 7

 

X-Delbarton at Mount Olive, 7

 

X-Randolph at West Morris, 7:30 

 

 

FRIDAY, OCT. 3

 

X-North Warren at Morris Catholic, 2 

 

X-Pequannock at Whippany Park, 2

 

Morris Knolls at X-Mendham, 3:30

 

Wallkill Valley at X-Kinnelon, 7 

 

 

SUNDAY, OCT. 5 

 

Morristown-Beard at X-Butler, 1 

 

 

Last week:   14-3 (.823)

 

Season-to-date: 38-12  (.760)

 

 

NORTHWEST JERSEY ATHLETIC CONFERENCE STANDINGS

 

NATIONAL DIVISION

 

Delbarton             2-0      (3-0 overall)

 

Roxbury               2-0       (3-0)

 

Randolph             2-0       (3-0)

 

Morristown           1-1       (2-1)

 

West Morris         1-1       (1-2)

 

Mendham            0-2       (1-2)

 

Mount Olive          0-2       (1-2)

 

Morris Knolls        0-2        (0-3)

 

 

AMERICAN DIVISION

 

Sparta                 2-0         (2-1)

 

Pope John           2-0         (2-2)

 

Parsippany Hills   1-1         (2-1)

 

Morris Hills          1-1         (2-1)

 

Vernon                1-1         (1-2)

 

Chatham             1-1         (1-2)

 

High Point           0-2         (0-3)

 

Montville             0-2          (0-3)

 

 

FREEDOM DIVISION

 

Hanover Park        1-0           (3-0)

 

Madison               1-0           (2-1)

 

Hackettstown       1-0           (2-1)

 

Dover                   0-0           (1-2)

 

Lenape Valley       0-1           (2-1)

 

Parsippany           0-1           (2-1)

 

Jefferson              0-1           (0-3)

 

 

LIBERTY DIVISION

 

North Warren         1-0          (3-0)

 

Boonton                 1-0          (2-1)

 

Hopatcong             1-0          (2-1)

 

Morristown-Beard    0-1         (1-2)

 

Butler                    0-1          (0-3)

 

Morris Catholic       0-1         (0-3)

 

 

INDEPENDENCE DIVISION

 

Mountain Lakes       1-0         (3-0)

 

Pequannock            1-0         (3-0)

 

Kittatinny                1-0         (1-2)

 

Newton                   0-0         (0-3)

 

Whippany Park        0-1         (2-1)

 

Kinnelon                 0-1          (1-2)

 

Wallkill Valley         0-1          (0-3)

 

 

Follow Sean Reilly on Twitter @SeanReillyHS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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