My co-commentator Lucas Sigaud made two predictions in the third quarter. The first: a fake field goal with Caldwell up 7-3 on Millburn’s twenty yard-line facing a 4th and long. Shortly thereafter, the score was 14-3 in Caldwell’s favor after a fake field goal touchdown. The second: “MIllburn could tie it up with back to back safeties”, after Zack Weinstein’s touchdown run cut Caldwell’s lead to four. A minute later, on Caldwell’s first offensive play of the drive, Caldwell’s center snapped the ball over the head of Caldwell quarterback Brian Clarkin, leading to a safety. No, the next Caldwell drive did not result in a safety, but the sequence was too-good-to-believe nonetheless.
Those predictions, however, were not even close to the craziness that occured throughout the fourth quarter with the game on the line. Millburn scored on another Zack Weinstein touchdown early in the fourth after the kickoff punt following the safety, and then stopped the Chiefs on defense. Millburn ran the clock down to 2:30 and put David Cross in the backfield to punt. 10 seconds later the score was 22-14 Caldwell, as the punt was blocked and easily returned for a touchdown. Caldwell scored on the two-point conversion attempt.
Every. Single. Play. that Millburn ran on the last drive was a run, head-scratchingly. Lucas and I continued to state that Millburn was going to have to throw the ball at some point, and we were wondering why they were waiting so long to do so. Coach Leonardis, though, had a plan. He knew that when you have Weinstein, a superstar running back with a bruising style similar to Marshawn Lynch, in the backfield, you have to continue to feed him, forcing the defense to tire out. And tire out they did, the same runs that were gaining two yards in the first half were now gaining ten. Zack Weinstein scored on a 25 yard run with 30 seconds left. He finished the game with 204 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns. The rest was history.
Millburn defeated Caldwell for the first time since 1973. Millburn’s current principal, Dr. Miron, was on the football team in 1973. I’m not sure what Coach Patrick Leonardis said to the team at halftime, but behind the senior leadership of Weinstein, John and RJ Serruto, Wes Mosier and Nick Minter, the Millers were able to pull off the stunning upset of the Caldwell Chiefs, winning 26-22.
Re-watch the action here: