By Gary DeOliveira
An 0-2 start is certainly not the way the Chiefs intended on opening this year. This year’s team had many obstacles to overcome from the beginning. New senior leadership had to come from leaders A.J. Curtiss, Brendan Peter, and Thomas Gargiulo. All three have had a plethora of experience but had to translate that into molding this team into their own.
The team opened their slate with a 50-7 drubbing via Lincoln. Lincoln, with multiple Division 1 recruits, was just too big and athletic for the Chiefs. Quarterback Brian Clarkin had no time to set his feet and deliver passes. Curtiss had no opportunities to cut or make magic happen from the Running Back position. This past week, the team went up against the Millers of Millburn High School. This game was epitomized by the Chiefs stout defense. Peter had 13 tackles while juniors John Hausel, Mike Cavallo, as well as sophomores Anthony Costigan, James Miller and Pat Theobold all contributed great stats and efforts on the field. Curtiss, playing both sides of the ball, added an interception.
Yet, it was not enough to stop the vaunted Millers rushing attack. Led by Zack Weinstein at running back, the Millers rushed for nearly 270 yards on the day, adding to that on the crucial ending drive that saw Millburn score a last second touchdown and steal a 26-22 victory right from under the feet of the Chiefs. There is no doubt, however, that facing loaded teams like Lincoln and playing tight games against Millburn will only extend the knowledge of these situations for the Chiefs players, and will reap dividends moving forward.