Football team wins division championship

A four-game win streak, division championship, and a complete overhaul of the postseason all happening in the same season? What are the odds? Interesting year we live in…

Nonetheless, the Mountaineers have had an outstanding season so far, with a 4-1 record, their only loss from notorious rival Hillside (14-9). After this first game, the team has hit their stride and picked it up a notch.

With a win on Olcott field against Johnson, the Mountaineers shined bright on both sides of the ball and came together for the win. The Mountaineers were up a hefty 39 point lead going into halftime. A key factor in this win was the unforgiving defensive effort, as senior Gavin Chieff scored a defensive touchdown and the first team defensive unit shut out the Johnson Crusaders. The final score on Senior Night was 39-14, moving Bernard’s Football’s record to (1-1).

An interesting development occurred with the information that the team’s next opponent, Governor Livingston, beat Hillside – their first regular season loss since 2017. Due to this rare occurrence, the Mountaineers were in the running for the divisional championship. The Mountaineers had reason to believe that Gov. Liv. was a powerhouse, but in reality, it was not at all like predictions. With senior captain Patrick Caldwell’s 100+ yards and pair of touchdowns, the game was over quick with scores from juniors Michael Leanza and Brady Walsh. The final score, crowning the Mountaineers division champs, was 34-7, pushing the Mountaineers to a (2-1) record.

The next game at Roselle was a breeze for the Mountaineers, with first team units out of the game by halftime. Pat Calwell and freshman Jake Caldwell’s combined five touchdowns coupled with a prime defensive effort including an interception by senior captain AJ Mino ended the game quickly. The final score was 42-20, leading Bernards to a 3-1 record.

Most recently, the mountaineers dominated Monmouth on Olcott field in a defensive party of a game. Both Chieff and junior Tyler Austin scored defensive touchdowns, a returned blocked punt and a pick-six, respectively. Leanza’s three touchdowns made the game a light one for the home team. The final score was 43-20 in favor of the Mountaineers, forcing a four-game win streak and a 4-1 record.

Due to a change in postseason logistics due to coronavirus, NJSIAA is attempting to have four-team groupings and games scheduled in Weeks 7 and 8 of the season. A committee picks the matchups and they shall be released mid to late November. This has not been done since 1974.