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Glen Rock Panthers Give Fans Great Ride

Officials signal for a touchdown on the first score of the Mahwah versus Glen Rock football championship game at MetLife Stadium Friday, Dec. 4. Photo Credit: Joshua Jongsma
Mahwah fans tailgate outside MetLife Stadium before the football state finals Friday, Dec. 4. Photo Credit: Joshua Jongsma
Glen Rock fans cheer on their team in the football state finals game against Mahwah Friday, Dec. 4. Photo Credit: Joshua Jongsma
The Mahwah fan section gets loud during the state finals game against Glen Rock Friday, Dec. 4. Photo Credit: Joshua Jongsma
Glen Rock cheerleaders pump up the crowd during the state football finals game against Mahwah Friday, Dec. 4. Photo Credit: Joshua Jongsma

MAHWAH, N.J. — A season of thrilling moments came down to one game at MetLife Stadium for Mahwah and Glen Rock's football teams Friday.

The Mahwah Thunderbirds marched to the title 38-13 over the Glen Rock Panthers, but both teams gave their fans plenty of reasons to cheer in 2015.

Mahwah resident Lisa Pingue worked at the concession stand for the Thunderbirds games this year and said the football team created a lot of community spirit.

"Everybody's been talking about it," Pingue told Daily Voice. "The kids [were] really excited to play at MetLife Stadium."

Mahwah High School senior Zach Aiello said the game was all the talk through the hallways.

"They were just waiting for this day," he said. "This isn't like a normal football game."

The Thunderbirds controlled the tempo early in the game on the way to their first title in more than 10 years. Mahwah scored first and built up a large lead before Glen Rock put up some late points.

"It's been a great run this year," Mahwah senior Daniel Gruber said. "We've been pumped up this week to get ready for MetLife."

Despite the loss, Glen Rock delivered plenty of memorable moments for its fans.

"I think coming off the exciting win over Hawthorne, it was great to be celebrated," Glen Rock parent Michele Theuerkauf said. "To have the town support is just incredible."

Glen Rock came from behind to defeat rival Hawthorne in overtime in the semifinals.

Mahwah beat Pequannock and Pascack Valley to reach the finals.

Both fanbases made the most of the occasion by tailgating outside MetLife before the game.

The excitement affected other people in different ways. Glen Rock High School student Kevin Connor said the anticipation led to a lot of sleepless nights.

"It's taken a lot out of me the past couple weeks," Connor said. "Besides that, I think I held up pretty well."

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