by Andrew Garda

Coming into Saturday's game at Woodman Field, the Montclair Mounties and Livingston Lancers didn't really know how good they really were.

As the clock ran down four quarters later, with the Mounties up 51-0, it seemed like both teams had an idea of what they really could and couldn't do.

Montclair totaled over 400 yards and 44 points in the first half, but whereas against Bloomfield they scored mostly on the ground, this week they attacked through the air.

The Lancers chose to try and shut down senior running back Josh Crawford by stacking the box and jamming the line, so the Mounties took advantage of that. The receivers faked screen looks off the line and then left their coverage in the dust. Both Walter King and Jeikson Boyle were wide open for quarterback Charles Murphy Jr. on touchdown passes of over 80 yards.

Crawford would get his on a 13 yard pass from Murphy in the late second quarter.

Once Livingston tried to adjust on defense, the Mounties were able to break some runs as well. Murphy was the fulcrum on that as well, as he read the defense perfectly, pulled the ball and followed halfback Amare Witter past the line of scrimmage on his way to a 94-yard touchdown run. Sophomore Jordan Diggs continued to flash tremendous ability with a 45 yard run as well.

While the offense was rolling, the defense scrambled the Lancers' gameplan. Jack Ernst has the size and look of a big-time quarterback, but the senior has a ways to go. His low-point release resulted in a bunch of batted balls, while his tendency to stare down receivers contributed to three interceptions, one a pick-six by King.

The Lancers rolled into Montclair 4-2, but for the most part they hadn't seen incredibly tough opponents. They faced a big hurdle in the ascendant East Orange High School Jaguars last week, losing 18-7, and then ran into a surging Montclair this weekend.

Meanwhile, Montclair has struggled to rebuild it's reputation after collapsing against West Orange in Week 0. Winning four of their last five, and scoring 102 points in the last two games should prove to anyone watching that the Mounties are very dangerous, especially at home, where they have not lost since October 2016, ironically enough also against West Orange.

There's a good chance Livingston and Montclair see each other come playoff time, and the Lancers will likely give a much better accounting of themselves.

That said, if the question was "Who are these teams?" before the game, the answer, at least for MHS is, "a team you don't want to meet in the playoffs."

Montclair has put themselves in excellent position to play their playoff games at Woodman, where they dominate their opponents. If they can topple Irvington on the road next week, there may be no stopping them.

For a complete breakdown of the game plus quotes from coaches and players, check out the Thursday edition of the Montclair Local in print and online.