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Ridgewood NJ football takes down Passaic Tech in battle for No. 1

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Coming into the showdown of the top two teams in the North Jersey Public Top 20, Ridgewood was a banged up squad. Four starters were out of the lineup, including two running backs, and the Maroons lost their quarterback to injury in the second quarter.

What they never lost was their resolve, their determination and their grit. Despite the adversity, the Maroons displayed the perfect ‘next man up’ mantra, finding a way to make the big play at the crucial moment.

With a 12-7 defeat of top-ranked Passaic Tech, Ridgewood took out its second top-ranked team in three games (Clifton two weeks ago) and should ascend to the top spot in the next poll. How long they stay there may depend on a continuation of that resolve and will to win.

In a game where defense was front and center, both teams dominated each other’s offense, with Passaic Tech recording five first half sacks and Ridgewood picking up three sacks of its own.

Passaic Tech hosts Ridgewood in a football game in Wayne, NJ on Friday September 23, 2022. R #7 John Gardner with the ball.

The Maroons scored the only points of the first half on a short 37-yard drive aided by two Passaic Tech penalties for 25 yards. The score came on a 10-yard pass from Jack Foerch to tight end Brendan Chanley for 10 yards on one play after a third down pass interference penalty extended the possession.

That score held up through a first half that saw the teams combine for a meager 49 total yards before Ridgewood got a 46-yard pass from backup quarterback Jay Wittmaack to Chanley, setting up a Matt Schwindt 24-yard field goal with 52 seconds left in the third quarter.