Monthly Archives: September 2012

Woodbridge squeaks by South Plainfield

WOODBRIDGE – The host Barrons bounced back from a shutout loss to Monroe last weekend and dominated the line of scrimmage against South Plainfield, securing a 10-7 victory Friday night at Nicholas A. Briscoe Stadium.

Woodbridge took over on downs at the South Plainfield 15 with just over two minutes to play and forced the Tigers to use their remaining timeouts by running the ball three times in a row. But on 4th-and-3 from the 9, Woodbridge quarterback James Rueb threw an incomplete pass, giving the ball back to South Plainfield. Woodbridge Head Coach Bill Nyers said it was an easy decision to go for it in that spot.

“That’s having faith in my defense, that’s what it came down to at the end of the game,” Nyers said. “The defense did a wonderful job and I can’t say enough about them. You don’t like it to go down to the wire like that, but bottom line, I have tremendous faith in what we’re doing here.”

Joseph Muzzio helped put the game away for the Barrons in the fourth quarter, carrying the ball eight times for 32 yards, running valuable time off the clock. The junior tailback finished with 64 yards for the game on 13 attempts.

“He does that really well, he likes to pound the ball down inside between the tackles,” Nyers said. “That’s like our change-of-pace thing, so we ran out a lot of clock by running the ball like that.”

Woodbridge totaled 118 yards on the ground for the contest.

The game was scoreless until the 5:30 mark of the second quarter, when Percy Martin-Oguike intercepted a Kyle Moroney pass and returned it 65 yards for a touchdown. That would be the only score of the first half, as Woodbridge went into the locker room with a 7-0 advantage. Moroney finished the game 8-18 passing.

In the third quarter, Woodbridge took the opening kickoff down the field, using up more than five and a half minutes of the clock, before Robert Martinez kicked a 23-yard field goal to put the hosts up 10-0.

But on the ensuing kickoff, South Plainfield captain Joe Pellegrino returned the ball 90 yards untouched up the far sideline, getting the Tigers on the board and cutting the lead to three.

But South Plainfield wasn’t able to get any momentum after that long touchdown, punting three times and turning the ball over on downs twice on their final five possessions of the game. Overall, tailback Roemello Monroe paced the Tigers attack with 50 yards on 15 carries and he added 15 yards receiving.


Piscataway flexes its muscles against J.P. Stevens

PISCATAWAY — J.P. Stevens got off to a fast start Friday night in Piscataway, scoring just three plays into the game when Chiebuka Chukwuneke scampered 55 yards for his fifth rushing touchdown of the season.

But the lead didn’t last long, as 23 seconds later Cameron Nash rushed 81 yards down the middle of the field for a touchdown of his own, tying the score at 7-7. Eight minutes later, Piscataway had built a 28-7 lead, thanks in large part to Nash’s legs, which ran for 157 yards on just five carries in the opening quarter, and at the end of the night, the Chiefs ran away for a 62-19 victory on Senior Night.

“I’m really pleased with the way that our guys responded after that first touchdown and I think we took a lot of steps in the right direction, so overall, I was pleased with the effort tonight,” Piscataway Head Coach Dan Higgins said.

For the game, Nash finished with 223 yards on just 6 touches, including a 66-yard punt return touchdown in the second quarter. The senior tailback finished with four total touchdowns on the night. Tyrell Judson and Kevin Butler also scored rushing touchdowns for Piscataway.

The Piscataway offense racked up 274 yards on the ground, out-gaining J.P. Stevens by 122 yards on running plays. Piscataway scored touchdowns on all six of their possessions in the first half.

The return of star quarterback Nadir Barnwell gave the Piscataway offense a boost, as the left-hander tossed a 48-yard touchdown to Kyle La’ Porte just before the half, pushing the score to 50-7. Barnwell finished 2-5 for 61 yards and added 38 yards rushing in his first game this season. The Rutgers-bound star missed the Chiefs’ first two games after separating his shoulder in a preseason scrimmage.

“When he’s in the game, there’s a different presence,” Higgins said. “There’s a confidence in our team. Beyond his playmaking ability, he’s been the leader of our team for the last three years so, we missed him on both sides of the ball, but his poise and leadership were great to have back. He had an impact on the whole team.”

J.P. Stevens came into the game riding a wave of momentum, after their Week 1 win in Marlboro. A big reason for the 34-26 victory two weeks ago was Chukwuneke, who rushed for 194 yards and four touchdowns on just nine carries, but aside from his opening-drive score, the Piscataway defense locked down on him, limiting the junior tailback to just 63 yards the rest of the way.

Piscataway is off next week before entertaining unbeaten South Brunswick in two weeks.

Dolbrice leads Linden past Plainfield

PLAINFIELD — Juwan Dolbrice rushed for 118 yards and two touchdowns, helping Linden upend Plainfield 14-12 Saturday afternoon.

Dolbrice helped ice the game down the stretch for Linden, carrying it four times on their final drive, which ate away at the clock and limited the amount of time Plainfield had to make a comeback. The sophomore tailback had 24 carries in the game to pace Linden. For the game, Linden out-rushed Plainfield 165-75.

“He’s a young talented kid,” Linden Head Coach Deon Candia said. “I think we put a lot on him, but he can take it. He started to cramp up at the end, but he’s a hard worker and likes to have the ball in his hands when it’s crunch time. So I’m happy for him.”

Plainfield made the game interesting late in the fourth quarter, scoring on a trick play to cut into Linden’s lead. With the ball on the 24 and facing fourth-and-10, quarterback Jonathan Roldan threw a short pass to tight end Al-Azeez Thorne, who then pitched the ball back to Thomas Fabyan. The senior tailback did the rest, rumbling down the left sideline untouched for the score. But on the two-point conversion, the Cardinals were whistled for offensive pass interference, leaving them two points behind.

The Tigers used two long drives to get their touchdowns in the first half. On their opening possession of the ballgame, Linden went 10 plays, covering 63 yards, capped off by Dolbrice’s 2-yard rush. Aside from one carry by Stefan Hill, Dolbrice gained all of Linden’s yards on the drive.

On their second scoring drive of the game, the Tigers worked the clock down to the end of the first half, scoring with just four seconds remaining. The nine-play drive covered 57 yards and was capped off when Dolbrice bounced to the outside and out-ran the Plainfield defense for the 17-yard score.

Plainfield got themselves on the board midway through the second quarter, using an 8-play, 75-yard drive to cut into Linden’s lead. Roldan completed two long passes on the drive, one for 37 yards down the left sideline to Jerome Allen-Jordan, helping the Cardinals get into scoring position. Three plays later, Steve Jones went in untouched from four yards out, making the score 7-6. On the ensuing extra point try, the snap was low, and Plainfield couldn’t attempt the kick, keeping Linden ahead.

“We’re still trying to figure out our identity here, but we tell our kids to battle,” Candia said. “A game like this builds character and Plainfield has some kids that can make plays, so you have to do everything and watch them at all times.”

Bishop Ahr holds off JFK, 28-26

ISELIN — Nelson Thomas ran for 127 and three touchdowns, Kevin Momat added a late touchdown of his own and Bishop Ahr held on for a 28-26 victory over JF Kennedy Friday night in Iselin. The host Mustangs cut the lead to two with 1:32 remaining when Matt Williams scored for the third time in the game, but the two-point conversion failed, keeping Bishop Ahr ahead for good.

The Mustangs recovered the ensuing onsides kick and drove the ball to the Trojans’ 41, but JFK’s quarterback Tom Farley’s fourth down pass fell incomplete with 24 seconds left, ending the comeback.

“It’s like the stock market; it was up and down all night,” Bishop Ahr Head Coach Don Sofilkanich said. “They did a very nice job, we weren’t consistent in what we were doing and there are some things we need to improve at, but this is a young team that’s starting to grow up. There were some tight moments for us.”

Thomas scored twice in the first quarter and once in the third, the latter coming on a 21-yard romp on Bishop Ahr’s second possession of the second half. Not many of his 23 carries came easy, as the sophomore running back consistently bounced off would-be tacklers to gain extra yardage.

““He played very well for a sophomore,” Sofilkanich said. “He’s going to be a heck of a player for us down the road.”

The Mustangs out-rushed Bishop Ahr 328-151 for the game, with Jessey Rosario’s 117 leading the way. Michael Jensen caught five passes for 103 yards for Bishop Ahr.

JF Kennedy cut the lead to one on the first drive of the fourth quarter, when Rosario rumbled into the end zone, carrying three Bishop Ahr defenders on his back in the process. But the extra point was blocked by Bishop Ahr’s Matthew Hurst, keeping the Trojans ahead by a point.

Momat’s touchdown on the following possession seemed to lock the game up for Bishop Ahr, but the Mustangs refused to go quietly. They drove 10 plays and covered 73 yards before Williams punched in his third score of the game. Williams finished with 56 yards on just six carries.

JF Kennedy elected to receive the opening kickoff, but didn’t even get a chance to send their offense onto the field. Hurst stripped the ball away from JFK’s return man and brought it all the way back to the goal line. Thomas got Bishop Ahr into the end zone on their first play, going in untouched from a yard out.

But JFK came right back with a touchdown drive of their own, going 75 yards on nine plays, knotting the score. The Mustangs used five different players to pound the ball on the ground before Williams scampered home from 15 yards out for the score.

Chukwuneke’s big day paces J.P. Stevens

MARLBORO — Chiebuka Chukwuneke ran for 194 yards, rushed for four touchdowns and scored a fifth time on an interception return, helping JP Stevens (1-0) edge Marlboro (0-1) 34-26 Saturday afternoon in both schools’ season openers. The Hawks led 20-2 heading into the fourth quarter, but Marlboro didn’t go quietly, scoring three touchdowns and converting all three two-point conversions to cut the gap to eight.

“Our basic program philosophy is you have to play 48 minutes of football to get a victory, no matter who you’re playing,” JP Stevens Head Coach Mike Ryan said. “We play a lot of great teams coming up with great coaching staffs, so we need to just play for a full 48 minutes in order to compete.”

The story on this Saturday was Chukwuneke, who scored on runs of 66, 89, 15 and 4 en route to a career-high in yardage on the ground. He only got the ball nine times in the game, the third highest total on the team, but made the most of his chances, averaging 21.5 yards per run. He got the Hawks on the board first when he bounced to the outside and rumbled 66 yards to pay dirt on JP Stevens’ first possession of the season. Two series’ later, Chukwuneke trotted all 89 yards untouched, putting JP Stevens up 13-2.

JP Stevens out-rushed Marlboro 283-114.

On the kickoff after Chukwuneke’s fourth rushing touchdown of the game, Marlboro tailback Dewan McCallister went 75 yards down the left sideline for a touchdown of his own, cutting the lead to 27-10. The Mustangs rolled the dice and went for an onsides kick in the moments following McCallister’s tally, and recovered the ball at the JP Stevens 47.

Eleven plays later, senior quarterback Parker Hoch hit McCallister for an 18-yard touchdown. The Mustangs added the two-point conversion to cut the lead to nine, but still needed to get the ball back. They tried yet another onsides kick and somehow came up with it, this time recovering at midfield.

But they wouldn’t be able to capitalize on that possession, as McCallister fumbled at the JP Stevens 3. After a punt gave Marlboro the ball back at their own 42, Hoch moved his team into scoring position, but was intercepted by Chukwuneke at the 4 and the Hawks’ star returned the ball all the way to the end zone for a 96-yard touchdown.

Hoch would connect with McCallister on a 15-yard pass on the ensuing drive, but it would be too little too late for Marlboro to complete the comeback.

For the game, Hoch completed 10-23 passes for 113 yards and those two touchdowns. JP Stevens out-rushed Marlboro 283-114 in the contest, led by Chukwuneke’s 194.

Rayborn leads Woodbridge to season-opening win

WOODBRIDGE – Junior tailback Brad Rayborn ran for 118 yards and scored a touchdown and the Barrons totaled 272 rushing yards on the evening en route to a 21-0 victory over the Perth Amboy Panthers Friday night in both schools’ season openers. Woodbridge Head Coach Bill Nyers returned to his alma mater and the school he won 49 games from 1994-2002, and picked up right where he left off.

“I’m happy for the kids and the coaches and all the people that came out tonight,” Nyers said. “A lot of people are supportive and it means a lot to this community and this school to come out here tonight and get a win.”

The Barrons out-gained Perth Amboy 178-2 in the first half, using two long touchdown drives to eat up the clock and ware down the Panthers’ defense. For the game, Woodbridge out-gained their local rivals by a whopping 326 yards (315-negative 11).

After a fumble at Perth Amboy’s goal line on their first offensive possession, the Barrons went on an 8-play, 56-yard drive to get on the board first. The big play of the series came when senior quarterback James Rueb hit classmate Daniel Bauer for a 29-yard catch-and-run down the left sideline to Perth Amboy’s 29. Five plays later, Rayborn punched it in from the goal line, putting Woodbridge up 7-0.

The Panthers went three-and-out on the ensuing possession, setting Woodbridge up at the Perth Amboy 48. Eleven plays later, Shuler scampered home from three yards out, capping the 52-yard drive that spanned over six minutes.

Perth Amboy couldn’t get anything going on offense in the first 24 minutes, going three-and-out on all four of their possessions. They gained three yards on their first series, but then lost a total of five yards on their next two drives, before finally advancing the ball four yards on the final plays of the first half.

The game went into a “lightning delay” at the 9:45 mark of the third quarter, forcing both teams to their respective locker rooms for 30 minutes. But the delay had little effect on the Barrons, who came out of their dressing room and completed a 9-play, 48-yard drive when Bailey scored on a four-yard run.

Woodbridge had three drives stall inside the Perth Amboy red zone, something that Nyers said they’ll have to work on in the coming days. But overall, he was pleased with the effort of his squad.

“I’m happy with the kids for this victory,” Nyers said. “Any time you open up the season with a win, it’s great. I thought our defense played outstanding and I think we moved the ball enough to win the field position battle and keep it in our favor. We have work to do, but we’ve only been together for three and a half weeks, so we’ll continue to get better.”