Top Seed Cresskill Rolls Past New Providence in First Round of Playoffs


Photo courtesy of Isora Abreu

Seniors Leo Urena, Michael Lee, Tim Coffey and Aidan Feulner take the field.

Sidney Hamburger and James Milionis

On a chilly November night, the Cresskill football team advanced to the semifinals of the state tournament by defeating the eighth seed, the New Providence Pioneers. 

The 7-2 Cougars started off strong, scoring within only five plays led by Junior Kiel McGee’s 25-yard reception on the third play of the game. The Pioneers struck back with a 73-yard kick return touchdown which tied the game at 7-7. 

Junior Kyle Henderson provided a game-changing interception and a 60-yard return for a touchdown late in the first quarter to put the home team up by two scores. 

From that point on, Cresskill stayed on top to end the half leading 42-14. It was much of the same in the second half, with 14 points scored by the Pioneers, but the Cougars maintained firm command of the pace of the game. The final score was 56-27.

Cresskill’s explosive offensive attack was led by quarterback Aidan Feulner, who threw for 270 yards and two touchdowns on 17 attempts. The senior captain wasn’t finished there: he also ran for 39 yards on seven attempts and ran for three more scores. Senior Tim Coffey carried the rushing load, with 109 yards on 12 carries, while tight-end McGee took care of business through the air with three catches for 92 yards. On the defensive side of the ball, juniors Dan Ferrara and Jerry Makris had 11 and 12 tackles respectively, and Ferrara added two sacks as well. 

“The defense was well set up by the coaches, everyone was giving their all-out effort, and we had a great time,” said three-year varsity starter and senior captain Leonardo Urena. “Hopefully,” he added, “we can continue this next week.”

The top-seeded Cougars play on their home field on Friday night at 7 p.m. against the fourth-seeded Boonton Bombers for a spot in the North 1 Group 1 sectional championship and an opportunity to win the first state title in 22 years.