Bernards rallies twice to hand Del Val first defeat, take back Mountain Valley trophy, with 17-14 win

Bernards celebrates a 17-14 win at Delaware Valley to give them the Mountain Valley Trophy, and likely the Big Central’s Patriot Gold Division. (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)

It was a tale of two halves for Bernards at Tapp Webb Memorial Field out in Hunterdon County Friday night, in a game heard live on Central Jersey Sports Radio.

The offense just couldn’t put points on the board in the first 24 minutes, managing just a 31-yard field goal by Jonas Gonzalez that left Bernards down 7-3 going into the locker room after Delaware Valley had opened the game with an eleven-play scoring drive to take an early lead.

Typical was a 14-play drive by the Mountaineers that ended the first half without a score.

But with the first possession of the second half, Bernards got a 20-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Connor Laverty to Enzo Britez to take a 10-7 lead, their first TD of the game. The Terriers defense had been settling in to that point, but all of a sudden in looked like Bernards might hold.

Patrick Garlinghouse came out of a pile – almost going down to a knee – and sprinted the remaining 45 yards of a 50-yard touchdown run to give the Terriers a 14-10 advantage with 6:10 to play, but the awakened Mountaineer offense wasn’t done yet.

They put together a seven-play, 71-yard drive, in just 2:40, scoring with 3:24 to go on a two-yard leap into the end zone by Laverty, and after getting the ball back on a four-and-out turnover on downs, picked up a critical first down on fourth down on their next possession to allow Laverty to take a couple of knees to run out the clock.

The defeat was the first of the year for Del Val, which fell to 3-1, while Bernards improved to 4-1, all but giving them the Patriot Gold Division title. They are 3-0 in the division with one game left against winless Bound Brook (0-4), which scored its first points of the year Friday night in a 41-6 loss at Voorhees. The Crusaders have been outscored 110-6 in their first four games.

Click below for postgame reaction with Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko:

Bernards junior quarterback Connor Laverty
Bernards head coach Jon Simoneau


  1. I am commenting on Somerville football program as a longtime follower and fan I think it is totally ridiculous they have to play a group 5 schedule when they are a small Group 3 school- this is PUNISHMENT for being a successful/ winning program by a select group of DISGRUNTLED coaches who were on the committee that were beaten by Somerville the last five (5) years, what they are forgetting is the kids/ the injuries they face playing bigger schools and the depth of the program- if there was a need to move them up put with group 3/4 schools- I did not see any other school get move up that high and this was just plain jealousy on the part of some coaches.
    The opinions expressed are my own.

  2. Follow up on my recent post Somerville has a good squad- 1 possession loss to undefeated Montgomery, leading Union until 5 minutes left in the game- a little more depth and they could be 4-1.
    Thank you for your great coverage of the Big Central Football Conference.

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