Ridgewood Comes Up Short in Championship Game at MetLife

The Maroons stuck with the running game despite falling behind by two scores early and conservative play calling hindered the offense.

Montclair came away with an NJSIAA State Championship after beating Ridgewood 33-0 at MetLife Stadium on Saturday.

“It was a phenomenal team performance,” said Montclair head coach John Fiore. “Other than a missed extra point and my bozo call in going for two I think they played perfect.”

Montclair opened the scoring early in the first quarter 43-yard touchdown pass from Donovan McDonald to Elijah Robinson.

Ridgewood was driving late in the first quarter when Montclair cornerback, Chanse Riley, came up with an interception to keep the Maroons from getting on the scoreboard.

Maroons’ quarterback Jamal Locke broke a nice run down the right sideline in the second quarter. But just before Locke was dragged out of bounds, the ball came loose and sat, in play, next to the sideline and was recovered by Montclair.

Robinson hit Will Kline on a slant across the middle for another Montclair touchdown and the Bulldogs took a 20-0 lead into the half.

The lead Montclair established was just too much for Ridgewood to overcome.

“We always have a strong defense,” said Robinson. “Our defensive staff always manages to scrape up what we have and put a great defense on the field. On defense we’ve always been taught to swarm. We don’t stop until the whistle is blown.” 

The Maroons are excellent when it comes to running the ball, controlling the clock and finishing teams off, but they were ill prepared to mount a comeback from 20-points behind.

It was as if Ridgewood head coach Chuck Johnson, who was scarcely heard from on the sideline, was of the mind that he would rather lose by sticking to the run than roll the dice by airing it out.  

But hey, Johnson is an outstanding coach, with 234 career wins, and with two undefeated teams, one had to come up short.

RB December 08, 2013 at 10:36 AM
The team had a great season and should be very proud of their accomplishment. It hurts to lose the way they did, but key injuries are to blame. The coaching staff did an excellent job.
Michael December 08, 2013 at 12:10 PM
It was a great accomplishment reaching the championship game. Also, when a team loses 33-0 it's not the conservative play calling that beat them, sometimes the other team is just better. Congratulations on a great year.
Tom Kossoff December 08, 2013 at 12:49 PM
I don't know who Rob Heinemann is but this article is totally inappropriate on so many levels. Devin McGinley should also know much better. Both editors should immediately apologize to the outstanding Ridgewood Football squad.
lk December 08, 2013 at 08:18 PM
The article is fine. It is someone's opinion. The boys played well against a bigger stronger team . I would love to have seen how we would have done if we went to the air, but we didn't and it wasn't my call. I wish we hadn't playded our starting line up in games that we had well in hand that led to HUGE team losses in terms of injuries. This goes all the way back to the loss of the McDade brothers. That's where I would have liked to see smarter coaching. Ridgewood had a great season. Now we look to the 6th grade boys! We expect to see you at Giants stadium your Junior year and repeating as Seniors!!!!! Great JOB RIDGEWOOD!!!!!!!!!!


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