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.”

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