The victory gave the Red Wings (10-2) their eighth sectional title overall, the second under head coach Lou Taglieri and the school’s first state title since 2005.
The Red Wings put away what was a relatively close contest in the fourth quarter, when workhorse Donte Carter bullied his way in from the 1-yard line and Rahmein Herron scored his second touchdown of the day on a 41-yard run.
Needless to say, it was a total team effort, one for the ages.
Roselle Park (9-3) desperately tried to come back and claim their first state title since 1991. But Nate Mack made an interception in the end zone with 2:09 left to seal the victory. Carter then scored his third touchdown of the game on a 93-yard run in the closing seconds.
On Roselle Park’s first possession of the game, they marched 82 yards and got nothing to show for it.
Roselle Park got all the way down to the Hoboken 7-yard line, where the drive stalled. On fourth down, Roselle Park’s sensational running back Brian Matthews was stopped short of the first down marker and the Red Wings took over deep in their own territory with 3:34 left in the first quarter. Matthews had 22 yards on six carries in that opening drive.
Roselle Park did an excellent job of containing Hoboken’s scintillating running back Donte Carter, not allowing Carter to break a big run at all and was held to just 13 yards on five carries in the first quarter.
The Red Wings were helped by a clutch 19-yard pass from Dante Bass to Rahmein Herron, who brought the ball to the 5-yard line as time expired in the first quarter with no score.
On the first play of the second quarter, the Red Wings got on the scoreboard on a 5-yard pass from Bass to Terrance Perry, giving Hoboken a 7-0 lead. It was a nine-play, 94-yard drive after making the stop on fourth down. Clearly momentum was on the Red Wings’ sideline.
It didn’t take long for Roselle Park to draw even, eventually tying the score on a 6-yard touchdown run from George Johns.
However, the Red Wings struck right back. On the first play after the kickoff, Bass hit Herron with a little screen pass that Herron took to the house. Ninety yards later, Hoboken regained the lead at 13-7.
The Red Wings had a golden chance to increase the lead, but Carter was hit and fumbled at the Roselle Park 2-yard line, where Jordan Andre recovered the loose ball, keeping the Red Wings’ lead at a tenuous six points as the teams hit halftime with Hoboken leading 13-7.
Hoboken had to take a safety in the third quarter, when the ball was snapped over the punter’s head and out of the end zone, making the score 13-9.
But Carter responded with a huge play, an 81-yard punt return for a touchdown that gave the Red Wings a 20-7 lead with 5:53 left in the third quarter.
The team, Coach Lou Taglieri, and all involved will be honored in a parade on Monday, Dec. 10. The parade will begin at 11th Street and Washington Street at 3:30pm and will conclude at City Hall at 94 Washington St.
We’ll have more about the Red Wings’ big victory in next weekend’s editions of the Hudson Reporter newspapers. – Jim Hague