In his first playoff appearance as Montclair High School’s coach, John Fiore helped extend his team’s season for at least one more game. The Mounties upended Ridgewood in the first round of the NJSIAA North 1, Group 4 playoffs, 38-28, on Saturday.
Quarterback Khalif Herbin was the catalyst for the Mounties. He threw an 80-yard pass to Michael Smith for the first touchdown of the game. That was the only score of the first half. Ridgewood tried to fight back in the second half, but Herbin and the Mounties offense overpowered them. Herbin ran for three touchdowns and threw one more, leading Montclair to victory. The Mounties had 570 total yards on offense. Herbin, the junior quarterback, contributed 453 of those, 191 passing and 262 rushing.
Montclair faces a familiar foe in the semifinals. When the Mounties met Union City back in September, they played a tight game that came down to the final seconds. Khalif Herbin made a 58-yard reception to score the winning touchdown as time expired. Now, the two teams meet this Saturday, with a chance to play for the state championship on the line. Kickoff is 1 p.m. at Woodman Field in Montclair, the site of their last battle.
Millburn Girls’ soccer is getting ready for a Group 3 semifinal match in the state championship tournament. After winning their first sectional title in 20 years, Millburn faces a big roadblock to the state championship game tonight, when they face Ramapo, who only have one loss this season. The two teams meet at 7 p.m. in Basking Ridge.
Two Baristaville Boys’ soccer teams are playing for a chance at a state championship today, too. At Watchung Hills, West Orange takes on a hot Hunterdon Central team that has won its last 10 games in the Group 4 semifinals. The game starts at 5 p.m.
Also, Glen Ridge, fresh off Thursday’s sectional title win over New Providence, takes on Wallington, one of the states’ top teams in the Group 1 semis at Indian Hills High School in Oakland at 4:30 p.m.