KENILWORTH – Brearley put together a couple of time-consuming drives that resulted in touchdowns in the first half, but at least Dayton had the ball a few times and some opportunities.
The underdog Bulldogs hung tough for the first 24 minutes, trailing only by a touchdown at intermission.
However, in the second half not only did Brearley produce two more long, scoring drives, but the Bears simply did not allow Dayton to have the ball for almost the entire final two quarters.
Sparked by two touchdown runs and one TD pass from senior quarterback Sebastian Montesdeoca, Brearley scored a touchdown in each quarter en route to a commanding 27-14 Mid-State 38 Conference-Valley Division triumph Friday night at Ward Field.
Brearley, 3-0 for the first time since 2008, also leads the Valley Division at 3-0. Dayton is now 1-2 overall and 0-2 in the Valley. Dayton was awarded a forfeit victory by the score of 1-0 for its season-opening home game Sept. 11 vs. Hillside. It was ruled by the NJSIAA that Hillside – in its 34-14 victory over the Bulldogs that night – used an ineligible player.
Brearley’s scoring drives in the first half covered 80 yards and six minutes in the first quarter and then 46 yards and nearly five in the second.
The Bears had three possessions in the second half, marching 13 plays and taking up almost the first nine minutes of the third quarter for their third touchdown and then driving 63 yards in 11 plays and taking seven-and-a-half minutes for their final score.
After Dayton sophomore Antonio Salcfas returned a kickoff down the left sideline good for a 90-yard touchdown, Brearley held on to the ball for the final 4:38.
Dayton had the ball for exactly three plays in the second half, its only possession resulting in minus three yards before the Bulldogs punted the ball back to the Bears.
“You can’t win when you don’t have the ball,” second-year Dayton head coach Dominic Cuniglio said. “We tied to slow the game down, but they wore us down.”
Brearley sophomore Khalid Bonnet rushed 11 times for 40 yards and one touchdown in the first half, while senior Anthony Primavera carried the ball 20 times for 82 yards in the second half, including nine times for 38 yards on Brearley’s touchdown drive in the third quarter.
Montesdeoca completed five-of-seven passes for 61 yards and one touchdown in the first half and then carried the ball nine times for 69 yards and TD runs of 19 in the third quarter and 23 in the fourth.
“Our goal was controlling our offense, running out the clock and getting yards,” said Montesdeoca, a three-year starter. “We did a lot better job of that in the first half.”
Both of Montesdeoca’s touchdown runs saw him start out one way and then reverse field past the grasp of tacklers the other way.
“The plays were to go to the outside, stick it up field and then go up the middle,” Montesdoeca said. “They were designed.”
In the first quarter with its first possession, Montesdeoca completed a 30-yard touchdown pass in the left corner of the end zone to senior end Evan Collier to give Brearley the lead for good. Collier beat single coverage on the play.
Collier, who caught two passes for 32 yards and one score in the first half, then came up with an interception one play after Salcfas produced one for Dayton following a Bulldog three-and-out in the second quarter. A sack for a seven-yard loss by Salcfas of Montesdeoca came one play before Dayton’s only touchdown of the first half.
Junior quarterback Joe Kastner led Salcfas perfectly on the right side of the field for a 55-yard touchdown pass that brought the Bulldogs – who played much better than they did last week against Bound Brook – to within one score.
“Antonio had a really nice performance for us,” Cuniglio said. “He’s only a sophomore, so he’s got a great future ahead of him. We went to him, figuring they would double Noah (Goldberg).”
Kastner completed four-of-nine passes for 95 yards and one touchdown in the first half. Four different Dayton players caught passes, including Goldberg, Brian Martin, Salcfas and Tyler Koref.
In addition to Collier’s two receptions, Brian Resende, Nick Arcieri and Vincent Rappa caught one pass each for the Bears during the first half.
Arcieri had a sack for Brearley in the third quarter.
A Dayton player wearing No. 8 blocked Brearley’s extra point kick following its fourth and final touchdown.
“We’re starting to get some guys back, this week it was (6-5, 300 pound senior lineman) Andrew Leibowitz,” Cuniglio said.
“It feels great to be 3-0,” Montesdeoca said. “I think there are great things ahead.”
NOTES: Next week Brearley plays at 2-0 Roselle Park in a battle of undefeated league foes and arch rivals. Roselle Park won at Bound Brook 29-20 Friday night after it had last weekend off.
Dayton will host Belvidere next week. Belvidere (1-2) won its first game Friday night, which was a 46-7 triumph at South Hunterdon.
MID-STATE 38 CONFERENCE-VALLEY DIVISION GAME
DAYTON (1-2, 0-2) 0 7 0 7 – 14
BREARLEY (3-0, 3-0) 7 7 7 6 – 27
BREARLEY – Evan Collier 30 pass from Sebastian Montesdeoca,
Nick Arcieri kick (B 7-0)
11 plays, 80 yards, 6:06 used
DAYTON – Antonio Salcfas 55 pass from Joseph Kastner,
Adam Wohlgemuth kick (7-7)
1 play, 55 yards, :10 used
BREARLEY – Khalid Bonnet 5 run, Nick Arcieri kick (B 14-7)
8 plays, 46 yards, 4:43 used
BREARLEY – Sebastian Montesdeoca 19 run, Nick Arcieri kick (B 21-7)
13 plays, 67 yards, 8:49 used
BREARLEY – Sebastian Montesdeoca 23 run, kick failed (B 27-7)
11 plays, 63 yards, 7:32 used
DAYTON – Antonio Salcfas 90 kickoff return,
Adam Wohgemuth kick (B 27-14)