The Westwood High School football team celebrates its 21-20 win over Rumson-Fair Haven in the Group 2 state final played at SHI Stadium at Rutgers University in Piscataway, New Jersey on Monday, November 27, 2023. Joshua Guirguis/D2 Sports Network
PISCATAWAY (N.J.) - The Westwood High School football team never led at any point during regulation.
The Cardinals trailed 14-7 with 5:50 left in the fourth quarter and began their last possession of regulation on their own one-yard line.
The rest was history.
Quarterback Robbie Carcich orchestrated a 14-play, 99-yard drive that tied the contest at 14-14 with only six seconds left in the fourth quarter. The senior located Thomas Bussanich in the right corner of the end zone for a six-yard touchdown to force overtime.
Rumson-Fair Haven scored on its first overtime possession on a two-yard touchdown run by Jackson Gallagher. The extra point attempt was blocked.
Carcich responded with a 14-yard touchdown pass to Bussanich on third down, followed up by a successful extra point attempt Sean Morrison, to secure a 21-20 win over the Bulldogs in the Group 2 state final at SHI Stadium on Monday night.
Westwood finished its campaign with a perfect 13-0 record and its first state title in program history. The Cardinals have also won back-to-back North Jersey Section 1, Group 2 titles.
Carcich finished 16-for-20 passing for 145 yards and two touchdowns. The Cardinals' signal caller also rushed for 77 yards. Aidan Dugan accumulated 40 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Bussanich reeled in seven receptions for 72 yards and a pair of scores. Joe Klein hauled in five catches for 55 yards.
The Bulldogs forced a fumble on the opening kickoff that was recovered by Toby Nagenson. They capitalized with a two-yard score by Alastair Orr. Rumson-Fair Haven led 7-0 after the first quarter.
Dugan scored on a three-yard run with 53 seconds left in the second quarter to tie the contest at 7-7. Owen O'Toole connected with Jake Gyimesi for an eight-yard touchdown to give the Bulldogs a 14-7 lead with 5:16 remaining in the third quarter.
Rumson-Fair Haven never trailed during regulation.
O'Toole finished 12-for-22 passing for 128 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Orr rushed for a game-high 96 yards and a score. Kellen Murray added 74 yards on the ground.
The Bulldogs concluded their season with an 8-5 record. Rumson-Fair Haven won its second consecutive sectional title this season.