The stars aligned for the Bernards football team Friday night.
Not only did the second-seeded Mountaineers top 6th-seed Sussex Tech 48-0 at in the North 2, Group 2 semifinals at Olcott Field Friday night, but soon after they learned that top-seed Caldwell – with a state-best active winning streak of 37 games – got upset by 5th-seed Lakeland, 33-28, meaning Bernards will host the Lancers next Friday night for the title.
Sussex Tech had several key players go down to injury early, and the floodgates quickly opened.
Logan Stevens’ three-yard run just 1:15 in gave Bernards a 7-0 lead. QB Connor Laverty hit Jake Caldwell for a 21-yard touchdown pass just under four game minutes later to make it 14-0. Then Caldwell picked off a pass from the Sussex Tech quarterback to make it 21-0 late in the first quarter.
And so on. And so on.
Laverty hit max Austin for a 29-yard touchdown 2:15 before the half to make it 28-0 at the break.
In the second half, the beat went on. Logan Stevens ran in another score – this one from six yards out with 5:22 left in the third to kickstart the running clock.
And the backups added two more scores.
The win adds to Bernard’s historic season, with the undefeated Mountaineers picking up a program record eleventh win.
Next Friday night, they’ll host 5th-seed Lakeland (8-3) in the North Jersey, Section 2, Group 2 title game. It’s just the third finals berth for Bernards, and second under head coach Jon Simoneau, whose team last made the finals in 2016, falling to Manasquan, 42-6, at Kean University in Union.
Click below for postgame reaction from Marcus Borden at Olcott Field, presented by Sportsplex at Metuchen: