The Millburn High School football team posted its second consecutive 5 touchdown game en route to a 35-6 victory over West Side High School on Sep 21 at Untermann Field in Newark. Senior RB Steven Montuoro and Junior QB Milo Freeman each scored twice and Freeman threw for another, all coming in a wild second half.
Millburn’s defense kept the game close in the opening half. With West Side moving the ball via a strong running attack on their opening drive, Junior DB Gabe Greenberg picked off a long pass attempt by West Side’s QB Shanei Hawkins at the Miller 18 yard line. Following a Miller punt, West Side again drove deep into Millburn territory but could not score. On a 4th and 5 from the visitor’s 10 yard line, QB Hawkins tried to run around left end but was met by LB Montuoro and finished off by Senior DT Mac Novich 1 yard short of the first down, keeping the game scoreless. West Side scored on their next drive on a leaping grab of a 12 yard Hawkins pass by Jorge Campbell at 6:07 of the the 2nd quarter. The extra point was blocked and West Side led 6-0. Later in the same quarter Senior DB Alex Schoen intercepted another Hawkins attempt at the Miller 13 and returned it 32 yards, keeping the game close. Millburn trailed 6-0 at halftime.
The Miller offense, stymied in the opening half by a surging West Side defensive rush, was about to turn the game around. After receiving the kickoff to begin the 3rd quarter they moved the ball to their own 24 yard line. On 3rd down and 9 QB Freeman faked a handoff to RB Schoen and rolled to his right, eluding the rush of West Side’s left defensive end, and hit Junior WR Evan Steinfeld in stride on the Miller 48, and the speedy Steinfeld outran the West Side defenders to the end zone for a 76 yard touchdown at 1:01 of the quarter. Greenberg’s extra point gave the Millers a 7-6 lead.
Things were about to get crazy. West Side returned Greenberg’s kickoff for a touchdown but the play was called back due to an illegal block on the home team. On the next play Montuoro recovered an errant snap in the West side end zone for a touchdown, and the successful PAT gave Millburn a 14-6 lead with 1:30 gone in the 3rd.
Millburn’s defense turned up the heat with relentless run coverage led by Montuoro Senior Steven Stimmler and Junior LB Dan Grinshpun. They forced West Side to punt, and more insanity followed. West Side’s long snapper sent the ball over the punter’s head, but the savvy player picked it up and heaved it downfield where it was caught by a West Side player who ran all the way into the Millburn end zone. Fortunately for the Millers, the receiver was an ineligible lineman, and the play was nullified, giving Millburn the ball at the West Side 45. 5 plays later Freeman hit WR Greenberg on a beautiful slant route for 36 yards down to the West Side 2 yard line. Freeman, running behind Senior Linemen Kelsey Graham, Stimmler and AJ Simon, ran in for the score at 8:13 of the 3rd quarter, and Greenberg’s PAT gave the Millers a 21-6 lead. The fun was not over yet. Sophomore Jared Harris recovered a West Side fumble on the ensuing kickoff, giving the Miller’s the ball back on West Side’s 16 yard line. Freeman ran in 4 plays later for his second TD of the evening at 9:18 of the quarter and another successful PAT gave Millburn a 28-6 lead.
On the first play of the 4th quarter LB Steinfeld stopped West Side on a 4th and 20 and Millburn’s running attack took over from there. In 4 plays the tandem of Montuoro and Schoen, behind the blocking of RB Grinshpun advanced the ball to the West Side 5 yard line, where Montuoro punched it in behind the lead block of Senior RB Jake Grzeszczak for his second score of the game. Greenberg, successful in all 5 PAT’s, gave Millburn its final point and stretched the lead to 35-6 at 2:30 of the final quarter. Senior Sam Brody recovered another West Side fumbled kickoff to seal the game and the victory. Dan Grinshpun led the Miller defense with 14 tackles followed by Brent Abrams with 11.
The Millers home opener will be on Friday Sep 28 vs Barringer HS at the newly renovated Neigel Field. Pregame festivities, including the popular Tailgate Party, begin at 5 p.m., with the game scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff.