Montclair Kimberley Academy clips Horace Mann for fourth win in last five games
The Montclair Kimberley football team needed to do some juggling before Saturday's contest against Horace Mann.
The Cougars were without the services of their starting quarterback, sophomore Miles Black, because of an injury, so head coach Anthony Rea made some changes.
He moved senior wide receiver Jordan Fishback to quarterback, while the backup signal caller, sophomore Carl Flocco, also saw snaps.
In addition, MKA used the Wildcat formation with its top back, senior Nic Lembo.
With Black out, most of the game was on the ground. "We wanted to go right at them with our run game, and we were able to do that effectively," Rea said.
With all the maneuvering the result was still on the positive side, as the Cougars took home a 21-13 victory over Horace Mann School in the Bronx. Montclair Kimberley raised its record to 4-2 and has won four out of its last five games.
"We're getting better every week," Rea said. "We aspire to win games not during the game itself but rather during the week by practicing hard and well, and we've been able to do that."
It didn't matter where MKA put Lembo on the field, the senior would pile up the yards and would rush for two touchdowns and throw another one. He ran 28 times for 120 yards and completed his lone pass, a 65-yard touchdown to junior wide receiver Jaylen Ankrah-Jones in the second quarter.
"Nic is such a tough football player," Rea said. "He's had 20-plus carries in each of the last five games and never asks for a break or to carry the ball less. He has really taken on the role as a captain and a leader for this football team, and we have really taken on his personality as a team as tough and physical."
Fishback ran 15 times for 69 yards.
Defensively, the star was sophomore defensive back Jack Scuorzo, who snatched two interceptions and kept the Horace Mann quarterback Nate Wildman at bay.
Rea said that the opposition goes away from Fishback, who is a defensive back on the other side of the field from Scuorzo.
"Jack gets picked on a lot because Jordan Fishback is on the other side, so teams think they can take advantage of him," the coach said. "However, he's such a smart football player and so technically sound that you aren't going to beat him deep, and if you catch it short, he's going to make the tackle.
“You also cannot get outside of him when you run, and he's always around the ball, which is why he was so successful on defense on Saturday."
Montclair Kimberley will look to make it five out of six wins on Friday night when they travel to Pingry. The Cougars hope to avenge a 35-9 defeat to the Big Blue last season.
Rea believes he has a better team this season. "Pingry is always physical, so we want to match their physicality," he said. "We have some great momentum, and we want to keep that momentum going. I think our team this year is more battle-tested than last year's team after playing so many close games, so hopefully that will play in our favor on Friday."