Rutherford Bulldogs Football Season 2023

A Summary of the Regular Season

Article by Andrew Erickson and Andrew Choi

As the regular season came to a close it consisted of six games, Lodi (37-6), Glen Rock (28-7), Garfield (47-35), Becton (36-6), Lyndhurst (35-14), and Pompton Lakes (21-0). With the season ending the Rutherford Bulldogs went 10-1 only losing to Westwood in the State-Sectional Final. This amazing season is all thanks to Head Coach and teacher Steven Dunn, as well as the rest of the coaching staff, and the star players on the Varsity Football team.

A notable game to look back on was the game against the Lyndhurst Golden Bears, which ended with a score of 35-14 Bulldogs win. With the masterful effort in put by players Chris Gioia, Cole Goumas, Ryan Ward, and Drew Carney. In the first quarter, Cole Goumas rushed 16 yards to score the first touchdown of the game. Starting quarterback Chris Gioia had a total of 150 passing yards, and threw a pass for another touchdown in the first half. In the third quarter, Chris Gioia scored two rushing touchdowns, with a total of 133 rushing yards. Ryan Ward then threw a 60-yard option pass to Drew Carney in the third quarter to solidify a Bulldog win.

Picture of Chris Gioia celebrating after a rushing touchdown (Picture taken by Michael Babcock, a senior at Rutherford Highschool)

Notable Events to Look Back on

With the unfortunate absence of Chris Gioia, Bulldogs’ starting varsity QB, due to an injury, Freshman QB Myles Balchan was brought up to lead the team. An immense amount of pressure was placed on Myles, not just because he was a freshman in his first varsity game, but also because his first varsity game was the Semifinal round against Hawthorne in the NJIC tournament. Even under this pressure, Myles leads the team to victory with a total of 115 passing yards. Myles continued to play as the starting QB for the rest of the tournament, as well as the NJSIAA Tournament (State Sectionals). Myles Balchan put up good stats and led the Bulldogs all the way to the Sate-Sectional finals where the team unfortunately lost to Westwood.

Cole Goumas, Rutherford Bulldogs’ Varsity Runningback, was awarded the North Jersey Male Athlete of the Week after the team’s victory against Park Ridge in the NJIC Championship. With a total of 171 rushing yards, Cole Goumas scored three out of four Rutherford Bulldogs touchdowns. Cole’s outstanding rushes allowed Rutherford to beat Park Ridge with a score of 26 to 7.

Picture of RB Cole Goumas rushing against Garfield. (Picture taken by Michael Babcock, a senior at Rutherford Highschool)

State Sectionals: Final Results

The Rutherford Bulldogs kicked off the NJSIAA Tournament, or the State Sectionals, with a match against Lenape Valley and came out victorious with a score of 42 to 7. Cole Goumas led the team to a win with a total of 141 rushing yards. The semifinal round was against Hanover Park, in which the Rutherford Bulldogs won with a score of 28 to 7. Freshman QB Myles Balchan threw a total of 205 passing yards, and running back Cole Goumas had a total of 153 rushing yards.

Finally, came the NJSIAA Championship against Westwood, a long-awaited rematch from the 2022 season. Rutherford Bulldogs unfortunately lost the game with a final score of 7 to 20. Cole Goumas was able to score a touchdown in the fourth quarter, but it was not enough to win the game. We hope to see the Rutherford Bulldogs bounce back next year and fight hard to win the State Sectionals. To keep up with the Bulldogs and their schedule check out highschoolsports.nj.