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Ferrara’s 4 TDs Lead Cresskill
SADDLE BROOK- For the first time in over two decades, there is a new coach on the sidelines for Cresskill, with Kevin Quinn taking over for longtime mentor Bob Valli in the offseason. One thing that likely won't change is the Cougars style of play, featuring a strong ground game and a hard-hitting defense, if Saturday's game at Saddle Brook is any indication.
Playing with a cast to protect a broken right hand, Matt Ferrara ran for a career-high four touchdowns and led a staunch defensive effort as the Cougars won their second straight with a 41-13 win over Saddle Brook.
“We really didn't do much fancy stuff today”, admitted Quinn. “We just tried to be simple and let our guys execute. Let them make plays and trust in each other.
After a Saddle Brook punt pinned the Cougars back at their own 2, they marched down the field and struck on their first possession. Following a 55-yard burst by Ferrara which set up Cresskill at the Falcon 15, the 6-2, 195-lb. senior took it in from seven yards out and it was 7-0 late in the first quarter.
Undaunted, the Falcons got a 52-yard completion from junior QB Robert Lazzaro to Nick Jacobson for a first down at the Cougar 14, but Lazzaro was stopped inches short on a 4 th down sneak at the 5, and Cresskill would break it open in less than four minutes.
After taking over on downs, senior QB Sean Kelly found senior WR James Picinich in the left flat. Picinich broke a tackle, cut inside and raced to the Saddle Brook 30 for a gain of 50. On the next play Picinch got open on a seam route for a 20-yard touchdown reception and the score was 13-0.
“Sean was an all-league receiver for us last year and this is his first time playing quarterback,” added Quinn. “He's starting to come into his own at the position.
The Falcons were forced into a three-and-out on the next series, and Picinich broke through to block the punt and then fell on it in the endzone for the score. After running it in for the two-point conversion, Kelly then intercepted a Saddle Brook on the next offensive play, to set up a four-yard score by Ferrara and suddenly it was 28-0 with 4:26 left in the half.
“It was something we saw”, said Quinn of the blocked punt. “We had them pinned back a bit and we ran a twist. Jimmy blocked the punt and last week on specials he ran one back. He's a playmaker for us.
The first-year coach recognized that there's much work to do.
“Every play in practice we have to finish. Every breath in the game we have to finish. Until we get to the point that we're finishing games, we're not going to be able to compete for league and state titles. North 1 Group 1 has always been real competitive and the good teams like Pompton Lakes and Hasbrouck Heights always have 11 guys playing hard.
Notes: Ferrara finished with 19 carries for 230 yards and added three tackles-for-loss on defense and an interception. Kelly was 3-5 for 80 yards and one score. Saddle Brook's Jacobson carried 8 times for 112 yards and two late touchdowns. The Falcons host Secaucus next Saturday while Cresskill has a Friday night trip to North Arlington.
Cresskill (2-0) 7 21 7 6 41
Saddle Brook (1-1) 0 0 0 13 13
C- Matt Ferrara 7 run (Ferrara kick)
C – James Picinich 20 pass from Sean Kelly (run failed)
C – Picinich fell on blocked punt in endzone. (Kelly run)
C – Ferrara 4 run (Ferrara kick)
C – Ferrara 19 run (Ferrara kick)
SB – Nick Jacobson 61 run (Jeff Dominquez kick)
SB – Jacobson 38 run (kick failed)
C – Ferrara 72 run (kneeldown)