Tag: Michael Schmelzer Jr.

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

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:

No. 6 Montgomery stands tall with backs to the goal line for wild 27-21 win at No. 10 Somerville

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:

Montgomery senior QB Michael Schmelzer, Jr.
Montgomery head coach Zoran Milich

Dynamic duo of Schmelzer, D’Avino aim to take Montgomery to the next level

So many successful high school football teams get that extra boost when a group of players have known each other their whole lives, and develop a bond.

Michael Schmelzer, Jr. and Matt D’Avino weren’t always the best of friends, but that competitiveness – going back to fourth grade for the duo – has made their bond tighter now that they’re on the same team, and have been for several years.

The two seniors figure most prominently when Schmelzer is throwing the ball on offense, and D’Avino is catching it. And, of course, there is the steadying hand of Zoran Milich, who’s now in his 22nd season as Montgomery’s varsity head coach, the only one the program has ever had.

But Schmelzer and D’Avino put up big numbers last year, and more of the same – and more of it – are expected this season. Schmelzer threw for 1,658 yards and 25 touchdowns a year ago, while D’Avino’s 1,053 yards receiving and 14 TDs represent about a third of his quarterback’s output.

That’s a combo you just can’t make up.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko at Big Central Media Day’s with Montgomery Head coach Zoran Milich and seniors Michael Schmelzer, Jr., and Matt D’Avino: