Things did not begin well for Chatham football as a snap sailed over punter Sam Smith’s head, resulting in a safety and a two-point lead for Parsippany Hills (5-1) a mintue and 15 seconds into the game.
From there, the Vikings rolled over the Cougars (O-5) for a 37-0 victory Saturday at Cougar Field to end their regular season. It was Chatham’s third shutout defeat of the year.
Senior quarterback Chris Evans, who completed 15 of 18 passes for 217 yards and three touchdowns, ingnited Par Hills’ offense, connecting with senior wide receiver Jordan Thompson on a 30-yard touchdown score to extend its lead to 9-0 late in the first quarter.
For their next touchdown, Evans hit senior wide receiver Ty Sallie with a 30-yard scoring strike to lengthen the Vikings’ advantage to 16-0 with 11:42 to go in the second period.
Evan’s third TD pass of the tilt went to Jake Jasiecki for a 15-yard score and a 23-0 lead with 3:02 remaining in the first half.
This time, junior running back Dominick Verducci hit paydirt on a 10-yard touchdown rush to help Par Hills surge ahead, 30-0, with 4:27 left in the third quarter.
Verducci, who rushed for 72 yards and two TDs, capped the Viking scoring, as he punched it in from two yards out to make it 37-0 late in the third period.
Bright spots for the Cougars came in the form of standout linebacker Jack Kuppenheimer, who made several fine defensive plays, as well as senior Chase Carlin, who intercepted an Evans’ pass. Additionally, Smith punted eight times, many of which went for solid yardage.
While Chatham’s defense gave up thirty-seven points, its offense did not help much, as it had several three and outs, forcing the Cougar D to stay on the gridiron for most of the game.
“It is tough, and listen, that’s where it’s one of those things that you got to make sure guys are conditioned, and you have multiple guys (who can come in and fill in),” Head Coach Dan Czepiga said. “Defense hung in there, but we got to keep grinding. Even though we were down, they tried to stop them from scoring as much as possible.”
The Cougars will play two more postseason (not playoff) tilts as they host West Milford (2-4) at 1 p.m. on Saturday and will visit Roxbury for a night game on either Thursday, Nov. 19, or Friday, Nov. 20, according to Czepiga.
— Jerry Del Priore