The Brearley football team did not get its first victory last year until game No. 8, so for the Bears to bounce back immediately from their season-opening defeat had to feel pretty good.
Brearley took on Bernards in its home-opener last Friday night at Ward Field in Kenilworth after opening with a 34-14 loss at New Providence.
Bernards came in after blanking Dayton 33-0 in Springfield. The Mountaineers also posted, arguably, their best season ever last year, winning their first nine games en route to a 9-2 finish that included reaching the North 2, Group 2 semifinals.
Brearley trailed by six points after the first quarter, but then proved dominant over the final three, producing a 33-13 come-from-behind victory.
The Bears were led by returning sophomore quarterback Sebastian Montesdeoca, who rushed for 209 yards and scored four touchdowns.
A four-touchdown performance by a Brearley back that also rushes for over 200 yards is the kind of effort that can turn a season around.
“Sebastian has the ability to break long runs,” Brearley head coach Scott Miller said. “He’s not that big (5-10, 160), but he’s shifty.”
It was reported that Montesdeoca scored on runs on 26, 23, 24 and 42 yards, his first two touchdowns coming in the second quarter to give Brearley the lead for good and his last two scored in the fourth.
“We thought we did some decent things against New Providence, but made some mistakes in the red zone,” Miller said. “We took advantage of some formation alignments against Bernards and our offensive line opened up some nice holes.”
Brearley junior running back David Eskin scored on a two-yard run in the third quarter to put the Bears up 19-6. Tyler Baum scored the game’s first and final touchdowns for Bernards, who slipped to 1-1 overall and 1-1 in the Mid-State 38 Conference’s Union Division.
Brearley is also 1-1 overall and 1-1 in the Union Division.
“Bernards has a lot of quality players,” Miller said. “Our defense improved – we were able to control their fullback – and that sprung our offense for the success it had.”
As well as the Bears ran the ball vs. Bernards, a balanced attack is sought. Montesdeoca has been intercepted three times so far and Brearley has committed five turnovers in its first two games.
“We need to throw the ball better,” Miller said. “We need to be more balanced and that will come with maturity.”
The Bears are now preparing for another road game, this one tomorrow night at Belvidere (0-2, 0-2).
“Belvidere plays solid defense and usually has a tough group of kids,” Miller said. “We improved from last week and have to continue doing so. We still have a ways to go and need to cut down on our turnovers.”