The New Jersey football season is in full swing after the Game of the Week matchup between Montgomery High School and Hightstown High School.
Montgomery kicked off the season with an impressive 35-14 victory over Hightstown on Sept. 6 in Montgomery.
At Cougar Stadium, Montgomery used the passing game and the rushing attack en route to 35 points, while its defense forced turnovers to secure the program’s first opening-day victory since 2014.
“Offensively, I think our wide receivers really opened some things up. Our pass game was not really working the way we wanted, but was good enough at points,” Montgomery Coach Zoran Milich said. “Our quarterbacks made some big throws in some big situations, on opening night.”
On offense, the Cougars used the arms of senior quarterback Ryan Furey and sophomore quarterback Marco Lainez.
Furey accounted for 115 yards out of 208 yards total through the air. Lainez threw for 93 yards. Both quarterbacks threw for a touchdown.
The ground attack was led by sophomore running back Alex Benitez, who led with 40 yards on the ground. Benitez also scored two rushing touchdowns during the game. Montgomery, as a team, rushed for more than 70 yards total.
“This was a tough game. We struggled at some points, but pulled it off. This win is a great way to start the season,” Benitez said. “I thank the offensive line for my two touchdowns. They really opened up those holes for me.”
Senior wide receiver Lucas Kopecky collected six receptions for more than 70 yards receiving and a touchdown to contribute to the victory.
Along with the offensive performance, the defense for the Cougars forced three fumble recoveries and two interceptions.
“Our defense really picked it up in the second half. We challenged them,” Milich said. “Our defense, this year, is really quick. We had to fill in a lot of spots and there has been growing pains with our defense. I love our player’s tenacity. They put it all on the line.”
He said he would like to see his team’s tackling and blocking improve for next week’s game with Cranford High School, which is set for Friday, Sept. 13, in Cranford at 7 p.m.
Hightstown’s passing game was led by sophomore quarterback Danny Wersching, who threw for 117 yards and a touchdown.
Patrick Margerum led Hightstown in rushing with 70 yards, while wideout Kyle Madden was the top receiver with 37 yards and a touchdown.
The Rams will be home next week for a Sept. 13 meeting with Princeton High School at 7 p.m.