No. 6 Montgomery pulls away in second half to top No. 5 Watchung Hills in battle of unbeatens

Montgomery’s Matt D’Avino hauls in a second half touchdown pass from Michael Schmelzer, Jr. – one of three on the night – in a 28-21 win at Watchung Hills on September 30, 2023. (Photo: Marcus Borden)

In a game where Montgomery never trailed, but never led by more than a touchdown until the fourth quarter, the No. 6 Cougars topped No. 5 Watchung Hills Saturday night, 28-21, in a battle of undefeated teams.

The win clinches the Liberty Silver Division title for Montgomery.

Senior quarterback Michael Schmelzer, Jr., figured in all four touchdowns, throwing three TD passes to his favorite target, fellow senior Matt D’Avino, and running for another.

It was a tight game throughout, with the teams trading touchdowns.

D’Avino caught a 31-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter to put Monty up 7-0. In the second quarter, Jake Arakelian scored on a nine-yard run to tie it for Hills, but Schmelzer, Jr., ran one in from 19-yards out before the half to wrest the lead back.

Watchung Hills again tied it on an 11-yard touchdown pass from Aleks Sitkowski to Braden Fenton, but Montgomery got it right back on a 24-yard Schlmelzer to D’Avino hookup.

The pattern would be broken in the fourth, when the Monty duo teamed up again for a 20-yard TD reception to make it 28-14. Hills got one back – a 12-yard pass from Sitkowski to David Dubas – but the Cougars would hold on.

Montgomery improved to 6-0 with the win, while Watchung Hills took its first loss and falls to 5-1.

Click below for postgame reaction from Marcus Borden, presented by Sportsplex at Metuchen:

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