Cranford ends Valley’s season in blowout fashion

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Ethan Perlman

The Valley football team comes together after a hard fought loss. Cranford defeated Valley in the North 2, Group 3 semifinals.

Bennett Scalia and Aidan Burke

Valley’s season came to an end Friday night after being dominated from start to finish on both sides of the ball. 

No.4 Valley entered as underdogs against No.1 Cranford in the semifinals of the North Jersey, Section 2, Group 3, NJSIAA Tournament. They simply had no answer for Cranford’s defense, tallying only 189 total yards and scoring only 7 points on a 40-yard touchdown run by Nick Savariego. 

Cranford’s offense was led by Sr. running back, Colin Murray. Coming into the game Murray had 1,503 rushing yards with 26 touchdowns on 196 carries, and he continued to assert that dominance tonight finishing with 220 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Murray was able to break open the game with a 70-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter to give the Cougars a 21-0 lead. He also had a 64-yard touchdown run midway through the second quarter to make the lead 35-0. 

The Cranford offense was effective in the passing game as Sr. quarterback Shane VanDam finished 4/7 with 63 yards, 2 passing touchdowns and a rushing touchdown. VanDam was able to get his confidence up early as he rushed for a short touchdown, and shortly after connected with Jack Conley for a 40-yard touchdown.  Midway through the second quarter he was able to find Will Gallagher for a toe-tap 13-yard touchdown to open up the game further, 28-0.

Sr. running back Lucca Limeira came into the game and made an immediate impact with a 55-yard run followed by a 1-yard touchdown to cap it off. 

Valley did not get the finish to the season they wanted, but the team stuck together through all the ups and downs, and the coaching staff gives lots of credit to the seniors for the role they played in the team’s success. 

“We are all very proud of the senior class for their leadership, toughness it showed throughout the season,” said Coach Cusumano.