By Steve Tober
BLOOMFIELD, NJ — Bloomfield resident Jake Pryor, a senior co-captain for the Montclair Kimberley Academy football team, has been one of the bright spots for the rebuilding Cougars who are off to a 1-2 start this season.
Pryor, who passed for 1,317 yards and 11 touchdowns, with just 3 interceptions, for the 4-3 Cougars in 2020 during a COVID-truncated campaign, has starred on both sides of the ball for the 2021 MKA gridiron squad.
In a 32-14 win over rival Newark Academy on Sept. 11 in Montclair, the 5-foot-10, 180-pound standout completed 18-of-25 passes for 147 yards and 3 touchdowns and had 13 carries for 80 yards and another TD. On the defensive side, he had three interceptions he returned for a combined 132 yards, including a 79-yard ‘Pick 6’ in the fourth quarter.
“Jake did an outstanding job commanding the offense vs. Newark Academy,” said veteran MKA coach Anthony Rea. “He ran the football well and – of course – did a great job throwing the football. With so many young players in the huddle, he also did a great job making sure that everyone was where they needed to be.
“Jake did not have to play a lot of defense last season or as a sophomore, but he has always shown tremendous ability in the defensive backfield. With this being his last year, it was going to be tough to keep a competitor like him off the field. He has shown a willingness to play both cornerback and safety, and he had a tremendous game on Saturday, with several impressive tackles to go along with his three interceptions.”
“Jake and fellow captain Brodie Snyder are the two players left in their class who started playing as freshmen. There is a certain level of inexperience with many of the other players on the team this season, so having them essentially as coaches on the practice field is invaluable. They have continued to work and encourage those around them to get better each day, and with that attitude, we will play better as a team each week.”
Pryor is also an outstanding lacrosse goalie having started in the nets for the Cougar laxmen since his freshman year.
MKA returns to action on Friday night, Oct. 1, with a second contest this season vs. Newark Academy, this time at the Minutemen’s Coursen Field in Livingston.
The Cougars will also host Morristown-Beard on Oct. 9 and Pingry, on Homecoming Day, on Oct. 16.
Photo Courtesy of Gene Nann