Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

The Ramapo Air Show

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

The Ramapo Air Show

Article excerpt

FRANKLIN LAKES - Ramapo's lightning strikes turned into one impressive storm.

Junior quarterback Sean Dougherty set a school record with six touchdown passes and the Green Raiders throttled Garfield, 52-23, Saturday to advance to the North 1, Group 3 semifinals against Sparta.

"We kind of expected to play Sparta," said Ramapo coach Drew Gibbs. "We're excited about the chance to move on -- and defend the crown."

On paper, this was a matchup of two teams headed in different directions. After losing its first two games of the season, Garfield had won seven straight. Ramapo, the defending sectional champions, had started 6-0, but lost its last three.

On the field though, Ramapo, thanks to its tougher schedule, looked like the more battle-tested team. Garfield was hurt by five turnovers, a bobbled snap on a punt and eight penalties.

Dougherty, a 6-foot-3 junior, made the Boilermakers pay for every mistake. He hit John Goldschrafe on a deep post for touchdown No. 1 (a one-play drive). Connor Russo was the target for No. 2 (another one-play drive). Dylan Bonsignore caught Nos. 3 (11-play drive) and 4 (one play), and Russo collected touchdown pass No. 5 (four plays).

Touchdown No. 5 was everyone's favorite. Dougherty somehow escaped the clutches of a Garfield defensive lineman, wiggled left and saw Russo all alone.

"That's the one that surprised us," said Gibbs with a chuckle. "That's the one. He did a great job of extending the play there. He understands our offense well. He knows where to throw the ball and when to throw it in those spots."

"I dropped back and my first look [was] Russo and he wasn't open," said Dougherty. "I went to my second look, but the kid came off his block, but he didn't wrap me up. He just leaned on me and I was able to slip out. I saw Russo waving in the back of the end zone, [with] no one around him. I just threw it up."

After Dougherty threw touchdown pass No. 6 (three-play drive) to Matt Giacose with 3:44 left in the third quarter, his day was done.

"This offense is so much fun," said Dougherty. "I get to throw so much more than I ever thought I would. …

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