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Mahwah High School Footballers Seek First State Title In 34 Years

Mahwah QB James Ciliento leads his team.
Mahwah QB James Ciliento leads his team. Photo Credit: Pete Ohnegian

MAHWAH, N.J. — The Mahwah High School Thunderbirds look to end a 34-year drought without a state championship Friday night when they play the Glen Rock Panthers at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford.

Mahwah Head Coach Jeff Remo says his 10-1 team is ready to take the NJSIAA Section 1, Group 2 title.

"We have had two weeks to prepare for this game," Remo says. "The only days we took off were Thanksgiving and last Sunday, so we are as prepared as we can be."

Although the Thunderbirds scored a school-record 431 points this season, Remo says his defense's performance against the 8-2 Panthers' prolific passing game will matter most.

"Glen Rock throws the ball a lot, so we have to put pressure on their quarterback and we have to play well in the secondary," the 19-year head coach said.

Attendees are expected to include three former NFL payers with a combined five Super Bowl rings among them — former New York Giants Leonard Marshall and Bob Kratch, and former Pittsburgh Steeler and Mahwah High School alumnus Randy Reutershan.

Remo says their presence will motivate his players.

"Knowing that those Super Bowl players are coming to the game, I think that means a lot to the kids to see those guys," Remo says. "It is important to the kids for sure."

Asked about plans if Mahwah ends up winning, Remo says he'll look forward to some well deserved shut-eye.

"I've been going like crazy these past two weeks, so I’ll probably go home and go to bed," he said.

Kickoff is at 5 p.m.

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