KENILWORTH – On a night when his grandfather Jerry, who passed away last Dec. 28, was honored for his many contributions to Kenilworth athletics, grandson Dan Ramos produced a performance that the opposition simply could not stop.
Ramos carried the ball 20 times for 149 yards and three touchdowns, completed four of six passes for 43 yards and one touchdown and also came up with a third quarter interception of a tipped pass to lead host Brearley to a convincing 35-13 win over New Providence in Friday night’s Mid-State 38 Conference-Union Division clash at Ward Field.
As a result, Brearley captured the Union Division championship outright and perfect at 7-0. New Providence finished third at 5-2, behind Bound Brook who finished 6-1 after winning at Dayton 42-20 Friday night.
Brearley, which captured the Valley Division title at 8-0 in 2015, won its eighth straight to improve to 8-1 overall. New Providence had a four-game winning streak snapped to fall to 6-2.
Both will be in next weekend’s North, Group 1 playoffs.
Ramos scored the game’s first touchdown on a one-yard run to give the Bears the lead for good. His other two rushing touchdowns, the first on a 77-yard run down the left sideline in the first half and the second on a 20-yard jaunt in the second, both came untouched.
“We wanted to hit them in the mouth right away, go right at them,” said Ramos, who carried the ball five times for 20 yards and completed three-of-three passes for 28 yards on Brearley’s opening drive, which covered 69 yards in 12 plays and took 6:12 off the clock. “The first drive we just did what we’ve been doing all year. We got some huge first downs. We have to give it to the guys up front.”
Those players, the guys who pushed the Pioneers forward in the mud and in the middle of the field to allow running room for Ramos and fellow junior Derek Graichen were tackles Aiden Samila and Jake Krawczyk, center Jonathan Braun and guards Michael Dotro and Michael Padula. Tight end Peter Siragusa caught two passes for 21 yards and one score in the first half.
Brearley scored all three times it had the ball in the first half, producing 214 yards of offense, and the first four times it had possession total before its first punt came with five minutes to go in the third quarter.
New Providence rallied to pull to within two scores at 28-13 early in the fourth quarter, sophomore running back Charlie Barth scored twice, before Brearley held off the Pioneers to produce its fourth win in five years over New Providence.
Brearley clearly won the game at the line of scrimmage in the first half en route to a 21-0 lead at intermission. The Bears drove 53 yards in 12 plays again using 6:25 for their second score and then their third came on a 92-yard drive that took six plays in 2:29.
Defensively, Brearley was just as dominant. The Bears held New Providence to only two first downs in the first 24 minutes, both on passes, while the Pioneers managed just 103 yards of offense, with 77 coming on the only passes senior quarterback Owen Kovacs completed.
Graichen carried the ball 28 times for 154 yards and one touchdown. He had 14 carries in each half, gaining 62 in the first and 92 in the second.
“In the first half we punched them in the throat and exposed their line,” Graichen said. “Our run power was very efficient. That was a real confidence booster.”
Graichen scored Brearley’s fourth touchdown on a 50-yard run in the third quarter after breaking contain at the line of scrimmage.
“We just really executed well,” Graichen said.
MID-STATE 38 CONFERENCE-UNION DIVISION
New Providence (6-2, 5-2) 00 00 06 07 – 13
Brearley (8-1, 7-0) 14 07 07 07 – 35
Brearley – Dan Ramos 1 run, Antonino Principato kick (B 7-0)
12 plays, 69 yards, 6:12 used
Brearley – Peter Siragusa 15 pass from Dan Ramos, AP kick (B 14-0)
12 plays, 53 yards, 6:25 used
Brearley – Dan Ramos 77 run, AP kick (B 21-0)
6 plays, 92 yards, 2:29 used
Brearley – Derek Graichen 50 run, AP kick (B 28-0)
4 plays, 59 yards, 2:24 used
New Providence – Charlie Barth 1 run, kick failed (B 28-6)
6 plays, 65 yards, 2:39 used
New Providence – Charlie Barth 32 run, Owen Kovacs kick (B 28-13)
3 plays, 89 yards, 1:27 used
Brearley – Dan Ramos 20 run, AP kick (B 35-13)
6 plays, 36 yards, 2:22 used
2019 FINAL UNION DIVISION STANDINGS:
1-Brearley (7-0) – outright champions and 8-1 overall
2-Bound Brook (6-1) – 6-3 overall
3-New Providence (5-2) – 6-2 overall
4-Belvidere (4-3) – 5-3 overall
5-Manville (3-4) – 4-5 overall
6-Roselle Park (1-6) – 1-7 overall
7-Dayton (1-6) – 2-6 overall
8-South Hunterdon (1-6) – 2-7 overall