Thompson Earns First Win as Jets Blank Noles
MORRISTOWN — Bernie Thompson will remember his first game as head coach of his alma mater, which turned out to be his first career victory.
The Union Local alum looked on from the sidelines Friday night as his Jets soared to a season-opening 31-0 dismantling of visiting Monroe Central before a nice turnout at Jets Stadium.
Senior quarterback Cal Kildow accounted for all but one of UL’s five touchdowns. He ran for a pair of scores and threw for two more as he piled up 263 yards of total offense.
“We’re going to put a lot on his shoulders and I thought he handed it well,” Thompson said of his veteran field general. “We’re a very young team and we made a ton of mistakes. The scoreboard may read 31-0, but we made a ton of mistakes.
“But our kids were resilient. They work hard and I told them all week that if we work hard in practice and if you take the conditioning seriously, it will pay off on Friday nights.”
Kildow sparked an 18-point outburst in the second quarter after the two rivals played to a scoreless deadlock after the first 12 minutes.
The 5-foot-7, 135-pounder capped a 10-play, 80-yard drive with a 1-yard sneak. It came two plays after he went for 21 yards on fourth-and-2 keeper. The PAT failed at the 10:54 mark.
Following a 32-yard punt return by sophomore Hunter McCort, Kildow found McCort in the right flat on 2nd-and-Goal from the 11. The shifty receiver made a nifty move to avoid a Seminoles defender before striding into the end zone at the 5:17 mark. However, the try for two failed as UL led 12-0.
Kildow picked off a Malik Rose-Burton pass on Monroe Central’s next possession, running it back 20 yards to the Seminoles’ 47. After a motion infraction against the Jets, Kildow directed a nine-play, 52-yard march that was capped by his 6-yard scamper around left end with 23 seconds remaining in the half. The PAT pass failed again as the hosts took an 18-0 advantage into the locker room.
“We only were able to run 13 plays in the first half,” first-year Monroe Central coach Josh Ischy said. “You’re not going to win many games only running that many plays. I feel we got dominated in all facets of the game. When you lose 31-0 it’s kind of hard to argue otherwise isn’t it?
“We were outprepared. We were outplayed. Hats off to Bernie and his staff because they had their boys ready to play, and we didn’t.”
Kildow finished his fine outing when he found Matt Bateman from 36 yards out in the fourth quarter with 8:48 showing. Kildow rolled to his left before lofting the ball downfield and over top of a Seminoles defender and into Bateman’s arms.
Union Local concluded the scoring when fullback Nathan Bomboris, who enjoyed a stellar game as a defensive tackle, burst up the middle of the field and broke a pair of tackles en route to a 50-yard scoring jaunt. Parker Skedel booted the extra point for the final point.
Bomboris and freshman linebacker Dakota Hess spearheaded a ballhawking defense that held Monroe Central to 106 yards of offense. The defense also forced four fumbles, with two being recovered. Kildow picked off two passes.
“We knew Nathan was an athlete,” Williams said of his two-way standout. “He showed that tonight on both sides of the ball.”
The Jets ran for 214 yards as Kildow led the way with 98. He also threw for 169 on 13 of 21. Bomboris racked up 73 yards and speedy freshman Caleb McWhorter had four catches for 56 yards.
UL moved the first-down sticks 20 times to four for Monroe Central. The Seminoles were flagged six times for 36 stripes. The Jets recorded four penalties for 25 yards and lost two of three fumbles.
Union Local 31, Monroe Central 0
Monroe Central 0 0 0 0 — 0
Union Local 0 18 0 13 — 31
U –C. Kildow 1 run (kick failed)
U — McCort 11 pass from C. Kildow (pass failed)
U — C. Kildow 6 run (pass failed)
U — M. Bateman 36 pass from C. Kildow (kick failed)
U — Bomboris 50 run (Skedel kick)
Rushing: Monroe Central 23-44 (Rose-Burton 9-25, Kilburn 10-23, Keylor 4-(-4). Union Local 36-214-3tds (C. Kildow 19-94-2tds, Bomboris 8-73-td, Kiser 1-25, McWhorter 2-17, Bailey 4-33, Crum 1-3, team 1-(-21).
Passing: Monroe Central 8-15-62-2ints (all by Rose-Burton). Union Local 13-21-169-2tds (all by C. Kildow)
Receiving: Monroe Central 8-62 (Young 4-8, Jones 2-33, Lincoln 1-24, Keylor 1-(-3). Union Local 13-169-2tds (McWhorter 4-56, McCort 4-27, M. Bateman 2-45-td, Morrison 2-25, Bailey 1-16)
First Downs: Monroe Central 4. Union Local 20
Penalties: Monroe Central 6-36. Union Local 4-25
Fumbles: Monroe Central 4-2. Union Local 3-2