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The Crimson

The student news site of Bernards High School

The Crimson

The student news site of Bernards High School

The Crimson

Bernards Football rides undefeated season to sectional finals

After an incredible regular season, the Bernards Mountaineers Football Team has marched their way to an incredible 10-0 record, as they prepare to take on Lakeland in the Sectional Championship. For the fourth consecutive year, the Mountaineers have won their division, as the class of 2024 has become the first class in Bernards history to win the division in each of their four highschool seasons. 

The Mountaineers are headlined by Senior Quarterback Connor Laverty, who is boasting an incredible 16:1 touchdown to interception ratio. Laverty had an incredibly efficient season, averaging over 13 yards per completion, while also piling up 10 touchdowns on the run.

Bernards features an unstoppable running back trio with Sophomore Logan Stevens, Junior Terrence Hanratty, and Freshman Patrick Carlisle. Stevens, who led the team in rushing yards with 513, had an incredibly efficient 8 yards per carry as well as 10 total touchdowns on the year. 

The main event of the 2023 Bernards Mountaineers football team is the historically dominant defense. Led by the unstoppable pass rush highlighted by Senior David Brothers and Sophomore Thomas Diemar, the team has racked up 19 sacks. Brothers, in his first year of playing high school football, has already broken the single season sack record for Bernards. Paired up with the shutdown secondary, the defense allowed less than 7 points per game.

The playoffs began with a highly anticipated rematch from last years disappointing first round loss against the Ramsey Rams. Right out the gates Bernards was rolling on offense, marching down the field before settling for a Jonas Gonzalez field goal. After a nice defensive stand, Laverty unloaded on a huge touchdown to Junior receiver Jack Morra to extend the lead to 10-0 by the end of the first quarter.

After a nice defensive stand, Laverty unloaded the first of three touchdowns to Junior receiver Jack Morra to extend the lead to 10-0 by the end of the first quarter. After a second straight long touchdown to Jack Morra, Laverty and the Bernards Mountaineers extended their dominant lead to 17-0 before the halfway mark of the second quarter. The explosion of offense continued for the rest of the game, fueled by Laverty’s perfect performance and Jack Morras 134 receiving yards. Bernards unloaded on the Ramsey defense, winning 46-13 in a dominant performance.

Just a week later, the Mountaineers geared up to take on Sussex Tech in the semifinals of the sectional tournament. Bernards picked up right where they left off, starting the game with a quick Logan Stevens rushing touchdown. The star of the game however, was Senior Wide Receiver/Defensive Back Jake Caldwell, who on the next Bernards offensive drive took a 21 yard pass into the endzone for the touchdown. Caldwell’s phenomenal performance would not stop there as just a few minutes later he would return a nice interception for a touchdown to extend the Mountaineers lead to 21-0 before the first quarter had even ended. 

The cold weather did not slow down Bernards’ defense either, as they got two interceptions, three tackles for loss, and held the Sussex Tech offense to just 14 passing yards. 

The domination only continued from there, as it seemed like every time Bernards had the ball in their hands they were celebrating in the endzone just a few minutes later. After a Max Austin 29 yard touchdown catch from Connor Laverty and a second goal line touchdown for Logan Stevens, BHS pulled their starters out of the game as it was all but over. Sophomore Casey Hoeckele would go on to throw two additional touchdown passes to leave the final score at 48-0. 

The celebrations were not over yet, as shortly after the game was over, the team received word that Caldwell had lost to Lakeland, meaning the sectional championship game would be at Olcott, giving the senior players one last home game to try to win it all.

Bernards will take on Lakeland in the sectional finals Friday, November 10th at 7:00 at Bernards High School.

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