In a battle of undefeated, 3-0 teams, where both teams made big play after big play on offense, defense and special teams, it was Montgomery that made one more big play than Somerville.
After taking a 27-14 lead with two fourth quarter touchdowns – including a 66-yard pass play from Michael Schmelzer, Jr., to Matthew D’Avino – the No. 10 Pioneers got back to within a touchdown, held the Cougars to a three-and-out, and got the ball back with 1:36 left and a chance to win.
But for the second straight year, 6th-ranked Montgomery would not be denied. Almost, but not quite.
On fourth-down they got a huge pass play from Brenden Pacheco to Quinn Carran for 63 yards to the Monty 30, then worked their way to a first-and-ten at the 16 with 30 seconds left.
Pacheco’s first pass to Mitchell fell incomplete. Montgomery got called for pass interference on second down, leaving 9.4 seconds on the clock. Pacheco connected with Quinn Carran on second down again, but he came down out of bounds five yards past the goal line.
And on the final play of the game, Matt D’Avino broke up one last pass from Pacheco that would have tied the game, and given ‘Ville a chance to win it on the PAT.
The aerial attack was the story overall, with Pacheco and Schmelzer combining for 550 passing yards. Pacheco finished with 329 and two TDs, while Schmelzer had 221 yards and two TD passes, while running for a third.
Montgomery is off to a 4-0 start, while Somerville took its first loss and falls to 3-1.
Click below for postgame reaction with Mike Pavlichko presented by Sportsplex at Metuchen: