Cedar Grove remains undefeated after a dominant win over Boonton

Cedar Grove (4-0) hosted the Boonton Bombers (1-3) in the 2023 home opener at Cedar Grove High School in Cedar Grove, New Jersey. It was a magnificent evening for a game, with a beautiful sunset developing as kickoff approached and cool temperatures.

Cedar Grove overwhelmed opponents through the first three games of the regular season by a total scoring margin of 103-37.

The Panthers received the opening kickoff and wasted no time advancing the ball downfield in seven plays and 70 yards, culminating in junior quarterback Stephen Paradiso taking the snap in shotgun formation and tossing a pass to senior running back Nick Iannacone. Iannacone muscled his way into the end zone for the seven-yard score with ten minutes remaining.

Cedar Grove's defense forced a quick three-and-out. On the punt return, Panthers junior punt returner Jackson Morrice returned the ball to the Boonton 21-yard line.

On first down, quarterback Stephen Paradiso lobbed a pass to junior wide receiver Anthony Tronio. Tronio scampered 21 yards to the end zone for the score that extended the Cedar Grove advantage to 14-0 with seven minutes left.

Boonton finally got into a rhythm on the offensive side of the ball by picking up chunks of yardage on the ground. The Bombers drove deep into Panther's territory.

However, Boonton senior quarterback Adem Qose attempted a short pass on second down. Still, Jackson Morrice was in a perfect position to intercept the pass and sprinted 69 yards to the house for the touchdown that widened the Cedar Grove lead to 21-0 with three minutes left.

In the second quarter, the Panthers' defense came up with a huge stop on fourth down at the Cedar Grove 27-yard line that forced a turnover on downs.

With less than five minutes to go, quarterback Stephen Paradiso went to work through the air, completing passes to sophomore wide receiver Xavier Andujar and Iannacone, who moved the ball into the Bombers' end of the field.

Cedar Grove caught a significant break when Paradiso threw a pass to Andjuar, who darted down the left side of the field with Andujar jolted by a massive hit with the ball popping into the air into the hands of senior offensive lineman Jean-Carlo Gonzalez with Gonzalez rumbling down to the nine-yard line.

On first and goal, Paradiso lofted a pass to Iannacone in the flat, and Iannacone cruised into the end zone untouched for the nine-yard score that expanded the Panthers' margin to 28-0 with three and half minutes left.

Boonton got an immense burst of momentum on their ensuing offensive possession, with junior running back Sylas White busting loose for a 46-yard run that placed the ball on the Cedar Grove 33-yard line.

Once again, the Panthers' defense drew a line in the sand. On second down, Bombers quarterback Adem Qose heaved a pass. Still, the ball fluttered, enabling Cedar Grove senior linebacker Gianluca Targia to step in front of the wide receiver and make the spectacular interception while diving to the ground with 1:40 remaining.

The Panthers appeared to have hit the jackpot on an 80-yard bomb from Paradiso to running back Jackson Morrice, but a holding penalty wiped out the highlight reel moment.

Stephen Paradiso refocused and completed a 20-yard pass to Iannacone, then a 28-yard completion to Jackson Morrice that advanced the ball into Boonton territory.

On third down at the Bombers' 32-yard line, Paradiso took the snap in shotgun formation, then stepped up in the pocket, evaded a couple of defensive players, and hurled a 32-yard pass into the left corner of the end zone with junior wide receiver Nicolas Russo stepping in front of the defensive back to make the leaping grab for the score that pushed to 35-0.

In the second half, the Panthers could rest most of their starting players as they cruised to the 35-0 victory and remained undefeated at 4-0. Cedar Grove returns to action on Friday, September 22nd, when they host Mastery Camden (1-3), with kickoff set for 7:00 p.m.