BRIDGEWATER — In a flash, the Bridgewater-Raritan High School football team had a 14-7 lead late in the first half of Thursday night’s game with Watchung Hills. Then in the short time remaining – about a minute left in half-time – Watchung Hills took over.
Watchung’s run was the start of what turned out to be a 38-14 triumph in a Big Central Conference interdivisional game as the Warriors (3-2) snapped a two-game streak consecutive defeats.
Bridgewater-Raritan (2-3) was held about 15 yards on offense before scoring its first touchdown on a 67-yard touchdown pass from Joe Spirra to Matt Macioiek.
The Panthers then came right back to move forward on Colin Kurdyla’s long interception return that set up Drew Davis’ 8-yard touchdown. Kurdyla followed with a conversion reception from Spirra for a 14-7 Panthers lead with 1:14 to go in the half.
Watchung Hills bounced back quickly with a long pass from quarterback Dylan Kelly to Jack Clintook who set up Kelly’s TD that tied the game.
Kicker Ryan McCann followed up his extra point that tied the game at 14-14 with an inbound kick that he recovered.
Watchung took the lead for good at 17-14 on McCann’s 40-yard field goal with two seconds left in the first half.
The second half was all about Watchung Hills.
“We won the line of scrimmage,” Watchung Hills center/nose Hunter Seubert said.
“I challenged our guys up front,” Warriors coach Rich Seubert, Hunter’s father, said. “I told them it would be the best defense we’ve seen this year. We just played a little better tonight.
Five different players have scored touchdowns for Watchung Hills – David Labib, Dylan Kelly, Brendan Fahs, Nirio Garcia and David Dubas.
By the numbers
Garcia rushed for 87 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries. The Warriors rushed 39 times for 171 yards.
They said it
Watchung Hills coach Rich Seubert told his team after the match: “We played physically tonight. We played the kind of football we want you to play. Fast, physical and fun.
Both teams will resume division play next week. Watchung Hills plays Montgomery in a Big Central Liberty Silver match. Bridgewater-Raritan hosts Ridge next Friday in a Big Central American Silver match.