Columbia HS football team gears up for playoffs; seeks revenge vs. Montclair

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MAPLEWOOD/SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — The Columbia High School football team is seeking revenge.

The Cougars lost to Montclair High School, 42-7, in the regular season finale on Saturday, Oct. 21, at Underhill Sports Complex’s Lynn V. Profeta Field.

The two teams will meet again in the quarterfinals of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association’s North Jersey, Section 1, Group 5 state playoffs on Saturday, Oct. 28, at Montclair’s Woodman Field. Columbia is the No. 6 seed. Montclair is seeded third.

In Saturday’s game, Columbia senior quarterback Charlie Morrison scored on a 2-yard run in the fourth quarter, followed by senior Henry Aaron’s extra-point kick, to cut Montclair’s lead to 35-7. Morrison finished five-of-eight passing for 69 yards with an interception and finished with four carries for 20 yards and the TD. Senior Steve Memo had eight carries for 39 yards and senior Yassan Fields had seven carries for 13 yards for the Cougars. Senior Zhamir Rowan was 3-for-5 passing for 48 yards for Columbia. Rowan also had two catches for 41 yards and senior Max Gigante had one catch for 20 yards. Defensively, senior linebacker Ethan Parlin had a sack and a fumble recovery for the Cougars. Prior to the game, Parlin was named the CHS’ nominee for the Steve DiGregorio Young Man of the Year award.

Columbia has lost two in a row and is 4-4 overall, while Montclair snapped a two-game losing streak and moved to 6-3 overall this season.

The Cougars, under eighth-year head coach Gary Mobley, are in the postseason for the first time since 2021, when they lost to No. 2 seed Ridgewood, 34-0, in the North 1, Group 5 quarterfinals to finish 5-5 overall.

If the Cougars defeat Montclair, they will play the winner between No. 2 seed Watchung Hills and No. 7 seed Bridgewater-Raritan in the semifinals.

Last season, the Cougars received a forfeit win over Montclair, which used an ineligible player in its 21-7 home win over Columbia. The Cougars finished 2-7 last season.

North 1, Group 5 playoffs

No. 8 seed Bayonne at No. 1 Passaic Tech.

No. 5 seed Union at No. 4 seed Ridgewood.

No. 6 seed Columbia at No. 3 seed Montclair.

No. 7 seed Bridgewater-Raritan at No. 2 seed Watchung Hills.

Columbia (4-4)

  • Aug. 31: win, vs. Livingston, 9-0.
  • Sept. 8: win, at Paterson Eastside, 37-0
  • Sept. 14: loss, vs. Irvington, 21-0
  • Sept. 22: win, at Hudson Catholic, forfeit*
  • Sept. 29: loss, at Passaic County Tech, 12-0
  • Oct. 6: win, vs. Bloomfield, 42-6
  • Oct. 13: loss, at Union City, 49-0
  • Oct. 21: loss, vs. Montclair, 42-7

*Hudson Catholic canceled its season due to lack of players.

Photos Courtesy of Tim Parlin

Columbia vs. Montclair (Saturday, Oct. 21)

Columbia’s Ethan Parlin, No. 11, was named Columbia’s nominee for the Steve DiGregorio Young Man of the Year award. Also with Parlin are head coach Gary Mobley, standing to Parkin’s left,, and Columbia athletic director Rich Porfido, far right. Montclair’s David Thom-Rogers, No. 2, is Montclair’s nominee for the same award.