Maiden tops East Rutherford, advances

Maiden cruised past East Rutherford in the opening round of the 2A state playoffs. The Blue Devils will play Polk County next Friday in the second round.

Maiden's defense put together a strong performance, and that didn't go unnoticed by coach Brian Brown in the postgame.

"I am proud of our defense tonight; they really stepped it up," Brown said.

Early on, Maiden quarterback Matt Johnson found Dakota Painter from 17 yards out to give the Blue Devils (8-4, 6-1) a 7-0 advantage in the first quarter.

The score remained 7-0 for the remainder of the opening quarter before Johnson found Painter again for another touchdown pass, extending Maiden's second-quarter lead to 13-0.

Not to be outdone, the Cavaliers got a break on a scoring pass that made the game 13-7 late in the second quarter.

Maiden scored again on a run by Johnson, who accounted 118 yards on the ground on the night.

When Maiden wasn't going to Johnson, Will Jenkins was making plays offensively, totaling 142 yards on 22 carries.

Grant Yowe's late scoring run extended Maiden's lead to 26-7.

The Cavs added a touchdown pass with 21.9 seconds left in the game for the final score.

"Matt Johnson played amazing tonight" Brown said. "I'm happy overall with our team's performance and glad to get the win."

The playoff win is Maiden's first under Brown and the Blue Devils' first since 2007.