Cougars Fall in the State Semifinals to 4th-Seeded Boonton

Last Friday night, Cresskill’s bleachers were filled with enthusiastic students and members of the Cresskill community watching the football team play in the semifinals of the state tournament against the Boonton Bombers. When the clock hit zero and Boonton was on top by four points, no one could hide their disappointment.

The Cougars struck first on the first play of the game, with a 15-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown by junior Dan Ferrara. The game was a high-scoring, back-and-forth affair through all four quarters, the teams scoring a combined 114 points by the end of the game.

The top-seeded squad scored over 50 points for the second game straight. The high-powered offensive attack was led by senior Tim Coffey, who scored 4 touchdowns. Quarterback Aidan Feulner added 3 touchdowns, and junior Jon Ditore added 2 scores of his own. The game was the third-highest scoring football playoff game in New Jersey ever, according to Gridiron NJ.

While the game ended the season, many accomplishments were achieved in this game and throughout the season. Junior kicker Michael Spina tied the record at 7 for PATs made in one game, and broke the record for the season with 42. Senior Davis Rogovich broke the record for quarterback sacks in a season with 10. “We accomplished a lot this year; winning the league title and beating both Hasbrouck Heights and Butler,” said Feulner. The victory over Heights was the first since 2006 and the win against Butler was the first in school history. The team won the first league championship since 2014. 

The end of the 2019 season was a heartbreaking one, but the team is staying positive, for the future remains bright. “I believe the juniors are going to be a great team since most of them will be three-year starters,” said senior captain Leo Urena. He continued, “As one of the three-year starters, I wanted to set the bar as high as possible to give a great example to the underclassmen.” In turn, Urena and other seniors will be greatly missed. “They are a part of my family and they are all a big contribution to the team and the team will be very different without them next year,” said sophomore James Milionis. Even with the loss of many incredible seniors, Milionis said that he believes that the team will still “have a strong secondary defense and a good running game” and “will be more prepared against teams like Boonton, which are really run-heavy teams.”

The players on this hardworking team are sad to see the season come to a close, as they realize the days of playing with some of their best friends are long gone. The team has grown to be a close family. “The chemistry was phenomenal,” Spina reflects. “Everyone worked hard together and worked for each win.”

Head coach Quinn agreed. “[As long as] you’re giving yourself the opportunity to be successful,” he said, “then the rest will fall in line.”